Thursday, April 22, 2010

Module 8 Reflection

Of everything you learned, what do you think
will have the biggest impact on student learning?

I think that the topic covered in this course that will impact student learning the most is project based learning. First and foremost, project based learning is student centered. Students will not take a back seat in the learning process. They are actively engaged in the learning process. Students are required to think for themselves and make decisions to solve problems that arise. The student will be required to actively think about the concepts presented in class. Research has shown that students using a project based learning system have higher test scores and are more motivated to learn. This can be attributed to the fact that they may find learning to be more enjoyable and fun. Project based learning shows a practical application to the subjects learned in class. This aids student in finding purpose and meaning in learning. When students want to learn, they will be more successful. All students will be challenged to think creatively and dig deeper. Because of technology and group work, students will be better prepared for a 21st century society.

Module 6 Reflection

This module has helped me think about self-directed learners
and the role of differentiation in the following ways...

I think it is very important for students to be self-directed in their learning. By giving the students materials that guide them through the process, the student is able to go through the process independently and make important learning discoveries. Rather than sitting back and observing the learning process, students are able to take an active role. It is important for educators to observe and guide the students through the process. This ensures students do not fall behind and stay on track. The goal of self-directed learning is to encourage and foster independence.

Students have a variety of needs. Some students may need extra help to complete the task. By providing templates and forms, an educator can guide student learning. Some students may need adaptions to be made because of special needs. Adaptions can be made by adjusting the content taught or by changing the project. A gifted student may need to engage in higher order thinking skills by completing a more difficult or in depth project. A nonnative speaker may need to be allowed to use a translator or a translation of a novel into their own langauge. The important thing to remember when grading special needs students' projects is that content is the most important grading factor. Nonnative speakers may have more grammar errors than a mainstream student, but the main grading factor should depend on if they understood the material.

Module 5 Reflection

This module has helped me think about student
assessment in the following ways...

I learned that assessments and tests are not necessarily the same thing. Prior to this module, I never thought of the idea of assigning a project rather than a test. But, I think this project assessment model could be a great idea if properly implemented into the curriculum. The main focus of the project is that the students understand the material and get the main idea. It is important that the curriculum framing questions are answered or developed upon during the course of the project. If done properly, student assessment can increase higher order thinking skills and technology skills.

A detailed rubric should be created for the projects so that personal biases are not reflected in the student's grade. This rubric should be detailed and specific. It is important that the teacher creates the project themselves so that they know what it entails and the qualities they are looking for in the project. The rubric can be handed out to students ahead of time so that they can assess their projects before they turn them in. Peer review is also important in student assessment. This gives them the opportunity to share their work with their classmates and the opportunity to critique others works and receive criticism of their own work.

Module 4 Reflection

How can technology be used most effectively to
support and assess student learning?

Technology can be used to support student learning in a variety of ways. Powerpoints and videos can be used to help visual learners "see" the information that is being spoken audibly. By using a technology project to assess student learning, the students learn how to use technology while using the skills they gained in the unit. For example, by having students create a PowerPoint on a jungle animal for a Science unit, the students learn how to use PowerPoint and they learn about a jungle animal. Many of these projects require higher order thinking skills. Technology can be used by students to create charts and graphs. A blog could be used to gauge student understanding of the material taught in class, as an alternative or in addition to, careful questioning.

Module 3 Reflection

This module has helped me think about the impact
of the Internet on my students’ learning in the following ways…

The internet is a very valuable tool that can be used for research, learning, and collaboration. There are many different tools available on the internet that could aid in the learning process. Email, instant messaging, and Skype are options to use for communication. You could bring a guest speaker into a classroom via video call. Email can be used to keep in touch with parents and students. Blogs and wikis are great classroom management tools.

It is important to teach students the proper ways to cite information they find online, and to set the example by doing the same. It is also important to teach students about plagiarism and the importance of paraphrasin

Friday, February 5, 2010

Module 2 Reflection

This module has helped me think about using standards, CFQs, or formative assessment in the following ways...

By using standards in the classroom, the students gain insight for the future. They can look on the board and see what they will be studying and review the "big picture". I think this is good because it gives the students vision and they can see what is coming up. I can use standards to keep the class on track and everyone on the same page. By using CFQs, the student's gain insight into how what they are learning in a certain content area relates to what they can learn in a certain unit, which relates to what they will learn for the whole year. This is important because it ties everything together and helps the students see why they need to learn the material and how to apply it. I can use CFQs and standards to make students more excited about learning. Formative assessment is useful because it is different from other testing. It shows how testing is not just fill in the blanks and multiple choice questions. Testing can also be in the form of projects or quizzes that the class takes together. It shows takes the emphasis off of grading and places it on learning (or more specifically, making learning fun). I can use formative in the assessment to see where my student's are and what needs I need to fill.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Module 1 Reflection

This module has made me think about my role
as an instructional designer in the following ways...

I never realized how much input a teacher has in his or her classroom. As a pre-elementary education major, I have never developed a unit before. I always thought that teachers were handed a manual and were told what to teach and how to teach it. I never had thought of implementing projects or the benefits of project based learning. It sounds naive, but I don't remember doing the kinds of projects discussed in this unit when I was in school. We did some group work, but I hated it because I felt like I always ended up doing all of the work. Now, I see that group work it an opportunity to develop a 21st century skill that will help children when they enter the work force. This module made me think of myself as an instructional designer for the first time. I see that the decisions I make in how to implement projects will affect my students long past the time they are in my class. It is my responsibility to teach students how to think creatively and how to use higher-order thinking skills.