For this project I first designed a regular face-to face classroom syllabus and then converted that syllabus and schedule into an online format.
Please view original Face-to Face syllabus and schedule here: Freshman English Syllabus and Class Schedule
Please view new Online syllabus and schedule here: Freshman English Online Syllabus and Class Schedule
Printed Material Product
Revised Printed Material Product
Selected Workshop/Course: University Writing Center Staff Development Meetings
Organization Mission: Provide one-on-one consultations on writing for any discipline, any level and any point in the writing process.
Description: In order to continue staff training, beyond the initial semester orientation, the WIU Writing Center Director and Tutor Coordinator continue to conduct face-to-face staff development meetings. These meetings are once a week throughout the fall semesters and once a month throughout the spring semesters. Topics discussed in these meetings vary from best practice techniques to help students with development, organization and brainstorming to discussing strategies to help students conduct research. Meetings usually begin with announcements and reminders and then move into a lesson or discussion of that meetings topic. Sometimes guest speakers come and other times face-to face mock-tutoring sessions are used to facilitate staff learning and development.
Approach Proposal: I propose every other meeting be converted into an e-learning development module that staff members use to continue their development. This will help solve the problem of finding a time every week when everyone can attend a face-to face meeting. It will also give added benefit to the staff because they can do the development module on there own time and access it as many times as they wish. Depending on the topic chosen for the learning module(s) they can also be recycled and used each semester reducing the amount of preparation time that the Director and Tutor Coordinator have to put into every meeting. This will let them focus more on the reduced number of face-to face meetings and help them become more comprehensive.
In addition, this type of meeting will allow for all writing center consultants to share their ideas and views. In regular face-to-face meetings, conversation is usually dominated by the more extrovert consultants while more introverted consultants keep quite. If each consultant is “required” to make at least one post then their ideas have an outlet and audience. It would also allow for the knowledge, ideas and strategies discussed within each module to be gathered, reviewed multiple times, saved and implemented into further staff development meetings rather than ideas (that are not being written down) being lost in the natural organic progression of face-to-face conversations.
Standards that would apply to the design of this online format would be: all four main groups and the eighteen different aspects of design quality standards (Horton p. 404-405), the Web accessibility standards/World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (Horton p. 405) and U.S. section 508. Since this online training would be designed for a very small and specific group of people, it is likely that to comply with U.S. section 508 standards an alternative approach would be used. The alternative approach could be using alternative content or claiming an exemption.
Example Lesson/Development Module
Lesson Title:Tutor Dependency
Length: 2 hours to complete
Target Learning Objectives:
1. Primary Objective: Decide (Horton p. 16)
Writing Consultants will decide a strategy for dealing with a situation of tutor dependency.
2. Secondary Objective: Know (Horton p. 17)
Writing Consultants will know how to identify a situation of tutor dependency and will be able to implement strategies to help correct the situation.
3. Complete Objective: (Horton p. 19)
Learners: Writing Center Consultants
Situation: When faced with a situation of tutor dependency
Action: Identify a situation of tutor dependency/Implement strategies for correcting the situation
Criteria: Reduce the rate of tutor dependency by 50%
Absorb: Writing Center consultants will be presented with the absorb activity of viewing an online slide presentation (Horton p. 49) to introduce the topic of tutor dependency.
Do: Writing consultants will engage in a discovery activity (Horton p. 105) by reading a case study containing an example or situation of tutor dependency.
Connect: Consultants will engage in a ponder activity (Horton p. 168) in which they will brainstorm ideas for solutions to the case study and post those ideas on the workshop discussion board available inside the Writing Center module on Western Online.
Consultants will also be able to review others postings, reply and discuss to further promote understanding of new ideas and discussions.
Description Design Development Plan:
a) Terminal behavior or performance
b) Conditions or demonstration of that behavior
c) Performance standards or criterion
a) The learner will be able to write an APA citation for the Smith and Ragan textbook
b) Given citation information for the Smith and Ragan textbook
c) APA citation form must be correct including placement of punctuation
a) The learner will be able to identify three edible plants
b) Given ten photographs of wild North American plants
c) All three plants identified must be classified as edible
a) Learner will be able to make oatmeal raisin cookies from scratch
b) Given the proper ingredients and the step-by-step recipe guide
c) The learner must complete each of the steps in the recipe in order and the finished cookies must match the photograph of the cookie made by the instructor.
Given a beaker of water and 4 different types of materials (such as a pencil, a rock a piece of paper and a piece of aluminum foil) the learner will be able to predict which materials will float and which will sink, by observing the nature/makeup of the materials and then testing their prediction(s) by placing the object in the beaker.
a) Learner will be able to predict which materials will float and which will sink
b) Given a beaker of water and 4 different types of materials
c) By observing the nature/makeup of the materials and then testing their prediction(s) by placing the object in the beaker.
Using Microsoft Power Point the learner will be able to create an instructional concept video clip that illustrates one of the seven visual elements of design (line, shape, color, form, texture, space and value). Each slide must also represent one or more of the visual principles of design (contrast, movement, rhythm, pattern, balance, unity and emphasis). The slide show must include at least five slides all of which must contain some form of animation.
a) Learner will be able to create an instructional concept video clip that illustrates one of the seven visual elements of design (line, shape, color, form, texture, space and value). Each slide must also represent one or more of the visual principles of design (contrast, movement, rhythm, pattern, balance, unity and emphasis).
b) Using Microsoft Power Point
c) The slide show must include at least five slides all of which must contain some form of animation.
a) Learner will be able to measure and accurately cut an 8x10 mat window for an 8x10 photograph
b) Given an 11x14 piece of white mat board, utility knife, ruler and triangle
c) There must be equal measurements on all four sides of the cut mat and no cuts or pencil lines that exceed the inner window of the mat, leaving the front side clean and free of errors.
a) The learner will choose the veggie pizza
b) When selecting a slice of pizza from the CiCi’s pizza buffet and given the choice between cheese, pepperoni, sausage and veggie
c) At least two out of four times
a) Learner will use a learning strategy to recall the major art movements discussed in Art History, combined volume 4th edition by Stocksted and Cothran.
b) Given a paper and pencil
c) Learner must complete the task in the 50 minute class period and include all major art movements.
Task Analysis: Procedural Learning Outcome
A. Learning Goal: Given the necessary tools the learner will be able to properly fold a Pyramid napkin
Brief Explanation of Process
2. Convert the goal into a representative “test” question. Performance assessment: Given the necessary tools, fold a cloth napkin into a pyramid fold as demonstrated in class. The steps must be completed in proper order. A checklist will be used to evaluate performance.
3. Give the problem to several individuals who know how to complete the task and do one of the following: observe them completing the task and either write down or video tape the steps they go through, have then talk out load through their thought process as they complete the task. Have the individual complete the task and then write down the steps they go through. This task was given to special event waiters in preparation for a museum fundraiser event. I observed the waiters completing the task and wrote down each step they went through.
4. Review the written steps or replay the video-tape of the expert completing the task and ask questions about the process. (What? When? Where? How? Why?). I reviewed the steps I have written down by observing the waiters. I also watched a video and studied a step by step picture guide on the folding process.
5. If more than one expert is used in steps 3 and 4, identify common steps and decision points used by the experts in steps 3 and 4. Steps in this process can only be completed one way to achieve the proper fold. So there was no variation in the way each waiter made their decisions.
6. Identify the shortest, least complex path for completing the task, noting factors that require this simpler path. As noted in step 5, steps in this process are straight forward and can only be completed in one way to achieve the proper fold. Therefore there is only one path for completing the task successfully. There are no outside contributing factors that would cause the steps to change. The shortest least complex path is illustrated in the steps listed in step 9 below.
7. Note factors that may require a more complex path or more steps. N/A. There are no factors in this task that require more complex paths or steps. If the same steps are followed in the right sequence then the proper fold will be achieved.
8. Select circumstances, simpler or more complex paths that best match the intentions of your goal. N/A. As noted in the previous question, there are no other complex steps or paths that could be revisited for this task.
9. List the steps and decision points appropriate to your goal.
a. Recall steps to folding napkin into pyramid folding
b. Collect napkin to start folding
c. Lay napkin face down in front of you on flat surface
d. Fold the napkin in half diagonally so that the napkin is now in a triangle shape
e. Decision Point: Does napkin resemble a triangle? If not, repeat steps c and d.
f. Rotate the napkin so that the open end faces away from you and the long folded (closed) end is directly in front of you.
g. Locate the right corner
h. Fold the right end (corner) up to meet the far corner.
i. Locate the left corner
j. Fold the left end (corner) up to meet the far corner. Now the napkin will be in a diamond shape with the seam running down the middle.
k. Decision Point: Does the napkin resemble a diamond shape? If not, unfold and redo steps c-f.
l. Turn the napkin over still keeping the open end facing away from you (as in step e)
m. Fold the napkin in half by bringing the top point of the diamond back down to the bottom point.
n. Turn the napkin over again, this time keeping the open end facing you.
o. Pull the napkin up along the center seam
p. Decision Point: Does napkin resemble a free standing pyramid? If not try again and repeat steps a-o. 10.
10. Confirm the analysis with other experts.
Experts (waiters at the museum) were observed completing this task.
C. Results from Information Processing Analysis The results from this Informational Processing Analysis (task Analysis) are listed below including major enabling tasks labeled as (1.0, 2.0, 3.0 ect.), subtasks labeled as (1.1, 1.11, 2.1, 2.11 ect) and prerequisite skills labeled with an asterisk*. These results are a revision of the steps listed in step 9 and have been grouped appropriately with subtasks added.
1.2 Collect necessary tools
1.3 Lay napkin flat
1.4 Fold over
1.5 Rotate napkin
1.6 Fold right corner
1.7 Fold left corner
1.8 Turn napkin
1.9 Fold napkin in half
1.10 Turn napkin
2.0 Collect necessary tools
2.1 Collect napkin to start folding
2.11 Recognize napkin*
1.0 Lay napkin flat
3.1 Lay napkin face down in front of you on flat surface
4.0 Fold over
4.1 Fold the napkin in half diagonally so that the napkin is now in a triangle shape.
4.11 Recognize the shape of a triangle*
5.0 Decision Point
5.1 Decision Point: Does napkin resemble a triangle? If not, repeat steps c and d.
6.0 Rotate napkin
6.1 Rotate the napkin so that the open end faces away from you and the long folded (closed) end
is directly in front of you.
7.0 Fold right corner
7.1 Locate the right corner
7.2 Fold the right end (corner) up to meet the far corner.
8.0 Fold left corner
8.1 Locate the left corner
8.2 Fold the left end (corner) up to meet the far corner
8.3Now the napkin will be in a diamond shape with the seam running down the middle.
8.4 Recognize the shape of a diamond*
9.0 Decision Point
9.1 Decision Point: Does the napkin resemble a diamond shape?
If not, unfold and redo steps c-f.
10.0 Turn napkin
10.1 Turn the napkin over still keeping the open end facing away from you (as in step e)
11.0 Fold napkin in half
11.1 Fold the napkin in half by bringing the top point of the diamond back down to the bottom point.
12.0 Turn napkin
12.1 Turn the napkin over again, this time keeping the open end facing you.
12.2 Pull the napkin up along the center seam
12.3 Recognize the shape of a pyramid*
13.0 Decision Point
13.1 Decision Point: Does napkin resemble a free standing pyramid? If not,
try again and repeat steps a-o.
14.1 Get napkin assessed by instructor
14.2 Unfold napkin
14.3 Put napkin away
Lesson Plan Title: The Smith and Ragan Instructional Design Process Model
Setting: This lesson will be taught in an undergraduate college classroom with 20 students and 20 desks/chairs arranged in rows, facing a pull down big screen with instructor’s desk and computer.
Learning Objective: Students will be able to recall the specific steps included in the Smith and Ragan’s Instructional Design Process Model for designing and delivery of effective instruction. Given a blank piece of letter size paper the students will be able to draw an exact copy of the Instructional Design Process Model on p. 10 of the Smith and Ragan text including the three main boxes with each box labeled appropriately as well as the smaller boxes within the main three boxes with the correct text written in each box. All words must be spelled correctly and all lines and arrows correct.
Instructional Strategy: The following instructional strategies will be used:
Explain (providing context and clarification of material)
Model the memory task
Group response with teacher
Group response without teacher
Repetition to the state of automatically
Systematic practice and review over an appropriate period of time
Overt practice, verbalizing and writing the memory outcome
Chunking of items into manageable sets
Approach: An expository approach will be followed. Sequence of events will be to introduce material, lead mini lessons, review and practice.
Evaluation: At the end of class the instructor will ask for any questions and feedback from students. After students take the exam in which they have to reproduce the Smith and Ragan Instructional Design Process Model exam results will be evaluated and if necessary instruction will be revised.
Part 1. Description of Evaluation Instructional Materials
The instruction I chose to evaluate was HTML Dogs beginner tutorial that addresses writing basic web HTML code. The target audience is anyone who wants to learn the basics of writing code. The tutorial states that it is for those people who are completely new to web design. It is part of a larger group of online tutorials based in the book called HTML Dog: The Best Practice Guide to XHMTL & CSS by Patrick Griffiths.
The contents of the tutorial included eleven categories or sections called: getting started, tags/attributes/elements, page titles, paragraphs, headings, lists, links, images, tables, forms and putting it all together. A supplantive strategy was used for the design of this tutorial. Each section combined text instructions with examples and hands on application for the user to practice as they move through the lessons. The tutorial states that upon completion, the learner will have a basic understanding of HTML language and methods.
Part 2. Description of Procedure Used in Evaluation
I asked my friend and co-worker at the Western Illinois University Writing Center to complete the instructional tutorial. The learner was 25 years old and had never used HTML. However, they were very interested and motivated to learn more about it. The learner was also proficient in using computer programs and software such as basic web navigation and Microsoft programs. I sat down with them and instructed them to follow the “read-think-aloud” method as they went through the instruction. During the course of the lesson, the learner had no problem using this method as it is a best practice method used at the writing center. As the session proceeded, I took notes on their progress as well as insights, questions and comments. There were several times during the instruction, that they had questions about what to do, so we worked through the problems together and I asked additional questions to get their thoughts about the process. The tutorial took the learner an hour to complete. After completing the tutorial I asked the following questions:
1. Did you feel you generally understood the instructions that were given in the tutorial?
2. Did you think the language used in the instruction was clear?
3. How easy was it to follow the interactive examples? Did you feel you immediately knew what to do?
4. Were there parts you did not understand? What were they?
5. Did you find the instruction appealing and interesting? What part(s) did you like best?
6. What suggestions would you give for improvement?
Part 3. Evaluation Summary
In summary, the learner enjoyed the tutorial but had trouble with some of the steps in the instruction. While I observed the learner I observed the following:
a. To what degree did the learner achieve the instructional objective of the instructional product?
The learner achieved the instructional objective of learning a basic understanding of HTML, but felt that the tutorial covered a lot of material on a relatively complicated topic. They also thought that if they were not going to be able to immediately practice or utilize the material then they would have trouble remembering all the various components.
b. Did the learner know what he/she was supposed to do during the different instructional activities?
The learner usually knew what they were supposed to do during the different instructional exercises but sometimes got confused by the actual written code itself. This is really unavoidable and not due to the fault of the instruction as understanding code renders that actual code examples be used in the instruction. (See bottom recommendations for more discussion)
c. Did the learner complete all the instructional activities, or did she/he skip some sections?
Initially, the learner completed all the instructional activities. However, as they became more familiar with the tutorials style they began to skip reading written instruction and go directly toward the exercises. The learner expressed that the lengthy explanations surrounding the code caused them to want to drift or skip sections while they were reading.
d. Where there sections of the instruction product that the learner didn’t understand?
At various points during the instruction the learner had to stop and re-read sections in order to try to understand what they were to do next as well as ask multiple questions to try to figure out what was meant. For example, in the getting started section of the tutorial the instruction state: “Now create a folder called 'html' in your C drive (or anywhere else you fancy).” This caused the learner to initially be confused at where to find the C drive. While the learner was computer savvy they were thrown off by the language. If the instruction had not included the “anywhere else” part then the learner would have spent significant time hunting for their C drive. Additionally, the learner expressed that they became overwhelmed by all the written code terminology such as <header> </header> or <body> </body>. However, not all the learners’ experiences were negative. Upon completion of the first section of the tutorial the learner cheered “Wow, it suddenly seems possible to do!”
e. To what degree did the learner find the instruction appealing and interesting?
The learner thought the material was presented well and really liked the step-by-step exercises included in each section. They felt that the inclusion of the exercises helped them grasp the complicated subject. The learner also liked the conversational, informal way that the instruction was written. They expressed that it made the complicated and unfamiliar topic seem more familiar and seem like something that they could actually understand.
My recommendations for this tutorial would be to include visual screen shots of how the learners’ screen should look after they copy/paste the code examples that are given. While this might seem redundant, I think that the addition of such visuals and not just written “visuals” of code would help learners better understand what the written code will look like once it is put into practice. It also might help with the confusion of the terminology used, if it is turned into an exact visual.
In summation, I think this HTML tutorial is a great resource for beginners to use. The friendly conversational tone of the instruction makes it seem like it is something that is able to be learned. The layout and design is easy to follow. The step-by-step examples that walk the learner through each section are invaluable in helping the learner “see” how to use and apply code.
My Informal Learning Theory: The Mixed Media Approach (M.M.A.)
As I worked to formulate a personal informal learning theory, I found myself thinking about my background as a student learner as well as past learning experiences that have influenced me to be the student I am today. I asked myself: What were the particular characteristics of a teacher’s instruction that made a particular lesson resonate with me and provide the means to connect to them and remember them? How can the formal learning theories be blended into a modern and eclectic instructive approach that serves to connect a modern student’s reality to formal school subjects? From these questions my informal learning theory was developed.
My Beliefs on How People Learn
People learn in a variety of ways, but in my opinion, seven main ways stand out. The first, when things connect to their reality and they can apply the skill they have learned to their own life. Secondly, people learn better when the surrounding environment is supportive and conducive to their learning. For example if someone who is sensitive to noise level is trying to study in a noisy disordered classroom then that environment is not supporting their learning. Thirdly, people learn when a teacher’s pedagogy reflects and supports all learning styles such as kinesthetic, visual and auditory. Fourth, when provided with constructive criticism, positive feedback and positive reinforcement. Fifth, when they get their questions answered and are not afraid to ask them. Sixth, when material is reviewed so it can be committed to memory. Last, people learn when they are given the freedom of personal discovery, when lessons are a mix of this discovery and formal teacher centered instruction. If lessons are a mixture of the two types then more formal learners will prosper from more structured teacher centered instruction and those learners who favor more personal discovery will also prosper. Points four and five relate to Bloom’s four features of quality instruction which directly relates to my belief that formal learning theories, models and ideas should provide support for new teaching theories and ideas.
My Beliefs on Effective Instruction
Points four, five, six and seven from my beliefs on how people learn are also points that I believe make for effective instruction. Instructors should always provide constructive criticism, positive feedback and positive reinforcement to their students. If these things are provided then students will feel comfortable and open to expanding their ideas. That is a major part of what learning is all about. It is not getting it “right” it is about learning a new concept or idea, relating that it is understood and then developing or expanding it with evaluation, analysis and study. If students feel comfortable asking questions the obvious outcome is that they will naturally learn more. Question and answer sessions promote discussions and learning from those discussions. As important as answering questions and promoting discussions, is reviewing material. A teacher should make time for reviewing material as well as help students learn effective ways of reviewing so each type of learner can have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to promote memory retention. Last, effective instruction should pair personal discovery and exploration of topic material with formal teacher centered instruction. By combining these two types it will reach more types of learners to promote better learning outcomes.
The Mixed Media Approach (M.M.A.) for Creative Instruction and Learning
As I reflected on my background as a student learner, I realized I have been a chameleon as far as favorite subjects, teachers and classes. But one particular aspect stuck out among the rest. As a fine art student, I have always been fascinated by the world of mixed media, from the processes the artists went through to choose or appropriate the particular media they were using (whether it be computer graphics, paint, ink, glue, cloth, metal, rubber or a ready made object like a book) to their application and use of it in the work they were creating. These artists start with a group of diverse objects and media and form them into a cohesive whole. I think this type of process can be applied new and exciting learning theories.
Upon studying the formal learning theories, I think that they definitely have their place and that pieces of them (like a mixed media piece) should be blended with new and modern ideas. In formation of my informal learning theory, I drew from the more formal learning theories: Behaviorist, Cognitive Processing and Constructivist and principles from the creation of fine art (mixed media works) used them to create my approach: the Mixed Media Approach or M.M.A learning theory and it’s principles of instruction.
M.M.A. Principles of Instruction (PIIC ME!)
Promote: My personal experience with this aspect of my informal learning theory influenced this principle. My high school American Literature teacher allowed me to choose a paper topic that was totally opposed to what she believed. In my quest to “prove her wrong” I ended up learning more than I ever thought I would about the topic thus translating into a memorable and retention promoting learning experience.
Integrate: I think it is extremely important to include the use of technology into the classroom as a way to connect to modern students. Many spend hours of personal time on the internet or with other modes of technology media such as smart phones or ipods. By including learning media such as blogs, wikis and video into the classroom it helps boost traditional instruction methods and promote student interest and connection to their world.
Include: Behavior reinforcement the key principle in the Behaviorist Perspective. It is important for a teacher to remember that their responses to student work are incredibly important to the progression and regression of the student. By reinforcing the wanted behavior (such as students asking more questions or leading discussions) then they will better develop the skills to do the behavior and feel comfortable doing it.
Create: By using modes of creative instruction (such as pulling from the arts, music or theatre) or including aspects of instructional technology to enhance formal subject areas it will help build important long lasting connections for learners. Creativity in instruction is a crucial component of catching and keeping student attention.
Mix: For example if a history teacher wants to try to promote student memory retention, an aspect of the Cognitive Perspective, of important dates in American History they may combine instruction with a student based discovery activity that connects the students personal ideas to the material. This type of activity would serve to connect learning experience with personal experience and interpretation. For this principle of M.M.A, personal discovery can be grounded and anchored in formal instruction. This is just one example of a “mix” of traditional and new ideas that can be implemented in the classroom.
Explain: Providing an environment (either teacher facilitated or student centered) that allows for explanation of material, reflection, review and responding to questions will help support the material being presented. Repetition of such explanations will help students with memory retention.
My informal learning theory: Mixed Media Approach (M.M.A.) and it’s principles of instruction is a direct result of answering the questions: What were the particular characteristics of a teacher’s instruction that made a particular lesson resonate with me and provide the means to connect to them and remember them? How can the formal learning theories be blended into a modern and eclectic instructive approach that serves to connect a modern student’s reality to formal school subjects? I believe the ideas and principles that were put together to form this approach are among the most important for promoting student learning.
As an instructional designer my focus is the design and development of effective online instruction, interactive learning objects, instructional alignment and the visual aspects of instructional materials. Specifically, how the inclusion of visuals within instruction can help facilitate learning.