tech-ucation reformation

Goodbye overheads and chalkboards! Hello virtual "paperless" classrooms!

Considering What is Left March 30, 2015

Filed under: 5510 — S. Michele Holmes @ 4:17 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

My Technology-Based Learning Environments class is at the halfway mark of our course development. My course mates and I are continuing to add information to our courses as well as presenting what we have done with the rest of the class via online presentations. We have been asked to consider what is left to be done, what challenges we have dealt with, and if we will meet our completion timeline.

I feel as though I am quickly catching up to where I want to be with my online course development. Although it appears as if I have not done nearly what I need to complete, so much of what I have left will go quickly because I have a consistent method for how I am developing the course. As for what is left to complete, the punch list is long. Under each module exists a page for each day of the week; I still need to update about half of those. Luckily, I spent a great deal of time updating my design document, so part of process is already completed – the list of activities. I just need to elaborate on what specifically will need to be completed each day. I also need to complete most of my instructional pages. I have been saving those for last because I want them to be more visually stimulating. I know what I want to go in them, I am just still exploring how to make them more than just reading material. Speaking of more than reading material, my plan is to incorporate multiple short videos throughout the course to explain how to complete various projects, conduct peer reviews, and use the programs. I anticipate this to be my biggest challenge and plan to complete most of them in the next few weeks. I do feel I have taken on quite a large undertaking and worry I may not be able to meet my timelines perfectly, but the course will be finished before the due date even if adjustments to the course must be made to meet the final deadline. The creation of original materials is what will challenge me to meet the deadlines. Teachers usually just use the materials they have been given and rarely make their own. I consider myself to have a knack for pulling together the best of the materials which already exist; I mean, why reinvent the wheel? But because Canvas has made it so easy to create and edit material, especially if the material will be reused again and again, the recreation of the materials I am pulling together should go smoothly.

I am unclear about my ability to implement this course because it is not being built specifically for a client or even me to implement immediately. I plan to keep it in tact until I need to implement it. My plan was to create the course in such a way that certain aspects of it can be modified for other needs. Perhaps a client wants to implement it over a semester. Other than changing due dates and the name of the daily pages, it should be fairly easy to modify for a variety of needs. I have been working more and more with the rubrics to evaluate the projects. Canvas makes it so easy to create, copy, modify, and save rubrics. So yes, I have a long way to go, but my plan is well-established. I am, however, really excited to switch up peer reviewers for the rest of the course to obtain some different feedback on the development so far.

Advertisements
 

Canvas Development Peer Reviews March 17, 2015

Filed under: 5510 — S. Michele Holmes @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My Technology-Based Learning Environments course mates and I have taken the opportunity to peer-review the first quarter of our Canvas course development.  We have been asked to reflect on the feedback from our peers as well as compare expected timelines in the professional world to what we are doing as students.

First, let me say that my peer-reviewer is AMAZING!  She has provided me with such positive feedback on what I have done well that I know I am on the right track with the next developmental phases.  I have reciprocated the feedback because she too is doing a fantastic job.  I have to admit that I am utilizing some of her ideas in my development.  I know this is not direct feedback from her, but in a way, it is still feedback.  For example, we have both developed a front page in which we welcome our students, but she added a nice graphic and links to some of the videos Canvas offers to help new users learn how to use the various aspects of Canvas such as setting up a profile and communicating with other course participants.  I also decided to add a graphic appropriate to my course and plan to add a Canvas orientation page later in my development.  In my course, I provided links to information specific to the course which is important but not necessary to completing the course – a background information page, a goals and objectives page, and a direct link to the modules.  As a result, my peer added these to her course as well.  Although not meant to be feedback, the replication is just as positive and constructive, letting me know I am making good design decisions.  My peer also reminded me to make sure I consistently address the same audience; I had neglected to revise a couple of sections which I had copied and pasted from the design document to the course.  My design document was directed toward stakeholders and supervisors while the same information in Canvas is directed to the student.  This valuable feedback reminds me to continue to review how I am wording directions in future development.  If we as the instructor are speaking to our students, then we need to write the information in a similar fashion.  But perhaps the best feedback is the professional behavior of my peer-reviewer.  Even her criticism is constructive and positive which makes me want to continue to impress her.

Now allow me to present my thoughts on the difference in timelines between developing instruction in the professional world and as a student.  Because the course is spread over 16 weeks over which we will develop one course, this is not nearly as authentic as the typical 3-week timeline we would experience as professionals.  However, there are other major differences involved here.  For example, my peers and I are developing the course for a 3-hour graduate class.  It is assumed that we all have full-time jobs and are taking graduate courses on the side, or that we are going to school full-time and taking multiple graduate courses.  It is difficult to understand how many projects a professional instructional designer is handling at once, but if we are performing the job full-time, certainly we would be spending much more time in course-development than we would in a class.  Another major difference is the number of people involved in professional course-development.  At this point, my course only has three people involved:  my professor, my peer-reviewer, and myself.  In the professional world, the instructional designer would have clients, supervisors, subject-area experts, technical experts, and possibly even other instructional designers working on the same course.  I believe the involvement of more people could both help and hinder timelines.  Consider that each time the client or supervisor suggests or requires a change, the designer will need time to revise work which has already been developed.  Having experts and other designers working on the same project would, in contrast, speed up the process.

 

Canvas Course Updates

Filed under: 5510 — S. Michele Holmes @ 1:46 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My Technology-Based Learning Environments course mates and I have been busy loading our course information into the Canvas learning management system this for the past week or so.  In my last blog I reported that I am about a week behind due to taking a road trip halfway across the country to see my father who is fighting cancer.  As it turns out, I also ran into a bit of a side trip with my course.  Because we have been asked to reflect on what we needed to revise about our courses based upon the structure of the LMS, this is a perfect time to bring it up.

For the first-quarter course submission, we had to input information which had already been thoroughly developed and peer-reviewed.  The easy part was simply copying and pasting text from the design document into the LMS.  Sure, some editing was necessary, but the content was the essentially same.  This allowed my course mates and I to focus on the structure of the LMS thinking about the most appropriate placement of the information.  For the second-quarter course submission, we are now working on adding our instruction, activities, and assessments.  Because this content was not developed prior to input, we must also develop as we input.  Once I started working with the various aspects of Canvas, specifically the Modules and Assignments, I saw that I needed to give more thought to the structure of my own course, specifically the sequence of activities and how that might be interpreted in Canvas.  I actually returned to the design document for a major overhaul.  After all, the information will be put into multiple places in Canvas, so I wanted it to be correct before input saving editing time in the future.  Now that the paper overhaul is in a good place, I have begun to input it into Canvas.  I cannot stress how easy it has been to get the info into Canvas after the overhaul.  It is not only going so smoothly, it is actually guiding me on the development of instruction.  The ideas were there, but writing them out has become such a cinch!  I have a much better idea about both how long the rest of this stage of the development will take me bringing me back on track with my course mates and what my next stage will require time-wise and content-wise.

As for how the design model is working for me, I feel as though I have overcome a major hurdle and can now move forward with greater speed and efficiency.  To those of you who develop online courses but are not using Canvas, it may be time to rethink that plan. I have used Moodle, Blackboard, Edmodo, and Schoology; Canvas is now my new favorite.  I was concerned about how my population of younger students may receive Canvas as compared to Edmodo or Schoology, but Canvas actually allows you to develop your content more like a Word document or a website, so you can make content appear exactly the way you want.  Schoology is geared more towards younger students, but it experienced a major hacker attack several months ago, and I have been cautious about using it ever since. Canvas is a great alternative.

 

Beginning Work in Canvas March 9, 2015

Filed under: 5510 — S. Michele Holmes @ 4:32 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This week, my Technology-Based Learning Environments course mates and I are starting to input our own course information into the online learning management system (or LMS) we will be using this semester called Canvas. If you are not familiar with Canvas, I highly recommend reviewing the informational website here. This is my first exposure to the LMS, and thus far, I am highly impressed with the functionality and flexibility.

At this point, we have been asked to input information we have already developed in our instructional design document such as the learning theory we will utilize, course goals and objectives, and information about the purpose of the course including the problem the course intends to solve. However, once I began to enter the information, I realized how versatile Canvas can be making it possible to place the information just about anywhere. This has both advantages and disadvantages. Fantastic that I have such choices about where to put information including adding graphics and changing colors, but the possibilities are becoming a bit overwhelming. It is probably a good thing we are not developing new information right now and simply playing with the Canvas features. My biggest challenge has been to figure out how to create a front page for the learner to view once the first log in to the course. As it turns out, we must publish that page then set it to be our front page. Luckily Canvas provides an extensive help and support site which allowed me to figure out my problem. What has gone really well is my experiments with the modules and course progression. I love the prerequisite feature which requires the learner to complete one module before moving on to the next. Because my target audience is much younger, exposing them to the entire course might be overwhelming. So limiting them to only what I want them to see at a time is a plus.

Due to some personal and family issues which asked me to travel across the country, I am about a week behind in my Canvas course development which I hope to catch up during the next two weeks. So because my course mates and I were not supposed to have our peer reviews done until this week, by the time this blog was due, I should not have been able to give or receive feedback. However, the feedback I have received from my peer has been extremely valuable. Most of her comments have been about the placement of information as opposed to the content, and I quite agree. Canvas allows the teacher to create highly-visual pages and organize information into limitless pages and modules. I have provided my peer with similar feedback. So far, most of the development has involved the where to place it as opposed to what to place. As for what I have learned so far, Canvas is a very powerful LMS. I have only broached the basics of what it can do, and I am eager to explore more options.

 

 
SEE JANE TRADE

Full Time Mom, Part Time Day trader.

JULES DAY TRADING JOURNEY

Transparency of a Female Day Trader

Eat Sleep Profit

For Traders By Traders

Trade The Day Away

Join Me on My Journey to Becoming a Day Trader

ThinkCreateShare

Educating with technology

Guila Muir and Associates

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

My about.me Experience

A lite journal of my experiences with about.me, its users and administrators

Dianna's LT 5210 blog

rapid instructional design

ltplusme

Welcome to a record of my thoughts as I venture through the world of learning technologies as a grad student in the field.

benedict5210

Reflections on Instructional Design

Through stories

Scott's blog about teaching, learning, games, film...

Jonathan Gratch

Doctoral Portfolio

Teaching with Technology!

Sharing my encounters with technology as a K-5 Technology Teacher

Melissa Pelletier

Writer of Oddities

Jennifer L. Scheffer

Make IT Happen: Innovation & Technology in the Classroom

Making Connections

Teaching, Learning, Relationships, Leadership, Life, Ideas

Ms. Computer Teacher's Blog

Teach Tech Better. Learn Tech Better.