Learning with Technology

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September 23, 2015
by Rachael Inake
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Students Bloom Using Web 2.0 Tools

This is a special guest blog post by Eric Matsuoka, Professor CC of Math and Math Coordinator at Leeward CC.

eric-matsuoka

Eric Matsuoka

The spring 2015 initiative involved allowing and encouraging students to submit their statistics term projects using Web 2.0 tools instead of traditional documents.  The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy places creating at its top level.  Web 2.0 tools facilitate both that highest Bloom’s level and also facilitates various forms of collaboration, which is strongly emphasized as a 21st Century skill.

New Blooms Pyramid

New Blooms Pyramid” by Andrea Hernandez is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Although some popular news reports suggest that today’s students are adept at creating artifacts using Web 2.0 tools, many students have not connected such experiences to their educational endeavors.  While it was not practical to dedicate class time to demonstrating the use of multiple tools, half of one class session was led by Educational Technologist, Rachael Inake, who introduced students to creating a website using a Google Sites template developed by the Educational Media Center.  Rachael also spent time creating a tutorial video for students who needed to review the directions given in the live presentation.

The intervention was an unqualified success.  16 out of 23 students submitting projects chose to use a Web 2.0 tool.  One student created a video while 15 created Google Sites.  The average project grade for those using Web 2.0 tools was 6 points (half of a letter grade) greater than those submitting traditional paper artifacts.  The average grade for the spring 2015 Web 2.0 submissions were also 8 points greater than the average grade for fall 2014 projects submissions, which were limited to traditional documents.  Student perceptions of the Web 2.0 option and project-based learning itself were unquestionably optimistic, as well:

Response Survey results (n = 23 in each case)
I liked having options for submitting my project 91.3%
Choosing my own topic probably motivated me to work harder on the project than I otherwise might have with an assigned topic. 65.2%
In working on the project, I could better see how topics covered in class are used in the statistical process. 73.9%
Having the option to make a video, web site, or some other format other than a paper got me to think more about what I was doing and how I would present it. 78.2%
The presentation and screencast tutorial by Rachael Inake led me to create, or at least consider creating, a web site for my project submission. 65.2%

Unfortunately, offering the Web 2.0 option in the summer session was not successful.  There were confounding factors that make it difficult to determine why students did not try the Web 2.0 option.  One was undoubtedly the short duration of the summer session.  Another is the lack of an in-person training session (although the spring semester video tutorial was made available).  The intention is for the option to be available in the fall semester and, schedules allowing, to have another in-person class session with an Educational Technologist.

Anecdotal reactions from students were generally positive.  The ordinarily-ubiquitous question of how long a report needed to be was virtually nonexistent in the spring.  While students were only required to set their sites to be viewable by their instructor (me), several (links below) made their video and web sites publicly viewable, which is one of the first steps in virtual collaboration.

Student work:

May 6, 2015
by Rachael Inake
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Leeward CC’s First Open Educational Resources ENG 100 Course

susan-wood

Susan Wood

Susan Wood, Professor CC of English, was the first at Leeward CC and in the UHCC system to create an open, online course for English 100: Composition I, which provides students with zero textbook cost, and allows anyone to re-use and re-mix her materials under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. With assistance from the Leeward CC Library, Susan found and used Open Educational Resources (OER) and her own content for the content modules. I was fortunate to work with Susan in planning and developing the content modules, putting the content in a weekly modules format using Google Sites, and publishing it as a template site for other Leeward CC ENG 100 instructors (or anyone) to re-use and re-mix under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. Susan also created a companion Laulima course site for instructors to copy to use with the weekly modules site and we created an Instructor’s Guide to help instructors put the course together.

The following is a guest post from Susan Wood.

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I was fortunate to be granted a sabbatical for Spring 2015. Part of the project that I proposed in my sabbatical application was to create an online ENG 100 course using Google Apps for Education that would be available for lecturers (or anyone) to use if they were assigned to teach an online ENG 100. After that project was approved, I was approached by both Kay Caldwell and Leanne Riseley and asked to consider creating the course using Open Educational Resources (OER). I knew very little about OER but have always used textbook cost as a major factor when choosing a textbook, so I decided it would be a worthwhile addition to the project. I did not realize at that point what an adventure I would have in the world of OER.

My first exposure to OER was a video on the Leeward CC Open Educational Resources Guide. In the video, which has since been replaced by Jayne Bopp’s wonderful video, an instructor in social sciences effusively talked about how she decided textbooks were too expensive for her students, so she found a fantastic OER textbook, pasted the link to the textbook into her course website, and proceeded to teach her course from this free resource. She made it sound so easy… all I needed to do was find the perfect OER textbook for ENG 100 and I would be on my way!

However, after weeks of searching and reading, I realized that there was no perfect ENG 100 textbook. I did find some OER ENG 100 textbooks, but some were really long and cumbersome, some were poorly written (ironic, I know), some didn’t cover the range of material we cover in ENG 100, and some were incomplete. It was then I realized I would have to create the course using a re-mix of content from several of the textbooks.

My next step was to pick the best of the content from the textbooks I found. I bookmarked the three textbooks that had material that I thought would best fit in a Leeward CC ENG 100 course, and then I set to work. I wrote an outline of the course and then proceeded to search through the OER textbooks and pull materials that I then revised as needed to fit the course objectives.

Collecting course content was a mostly enjoyable process because I got to explore what others teach in first-year writing courses. It was also professionally invigorating to read through so many different approaches to teaching first-year writing. At times, though, collecting content was frustrating when I could not find what I needed– so I had to create some content myself. Luckily, I had Rachael Inake to help me with the technical aspects of creating Google Slides, YouTube videos, and PowToons, and I was able to use these tools and more to create content. All in all, the experience of choosing, re-mixing, and creating OER was a very positive one.

The ENG 100 course is now finished and I am very pleased with how it turned out. I am excited to use the course for the first time this summer and will use it again in the Fall. I am also really excited that my students don’t have to buy a textbook. In past semesters, some students would go for weeks or even the entire semester without a textbook because they could not afford all of the textbooks for all of their courses. I am thrilled that I can now offer a course that does not burden students with the cost of a textbook. OER makes that possible.

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Below are a few screenshots of the ENG 100 OER course materials.

Screenshot of week 7's module

Screenshot of week 7’s module

Screenshot of ENG 100 Laulima site

Screenshot of ENG 100 Laulima site

Screenshot of the ENG 100 OER Instructor’s Guide

Screenshot of the ENG 100 OER Instructor’s Guide

Susan’s materials available for accessing, copying, re-mixing, and re-using, under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license:

Please contact the Educational Media Center (EMC) if you’d like to set up an ENG 100 OER course site using Susan’s OER materials or if you’re interested in using OER materials or creating an OER course.

We can’t wait to hear how things turn out for Susan and her students next semester!

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