Yes, still catching up, but getting there slowly but surely. I watched a recording of Jan Herrington’s webinar on designing productive tasks in authentic learning environments. As a reminder, the nine elements of authentic learning:
- Provide authentic contexts that reflect the way the knowledge will be used in real life
- Provide authentic tasks and activities
- Provide access to expert performances and the modelling of processes
- Provide multiple roles and perspectives
- Support collaborative construction of knowledge
- Promote reflection to enable abstractions to be formed
- Promote articulation to enable tacit knowledge to be made explicit
- Provide coaching and scaffolding by the teacher at critical times
- Provide for authentic assessment of learning within the tasks.
Applied to the wine marketing students I teach:
Re 1) Authentic contexts: attending and participating in meetings, webinars, fairs and conferences, socializing with colleagues, business partners, customers e.g. at welcome events, dinners, wine tastings; writing emails/text messages/reports/press releases, translating brochures/websites; telephoning; negotiating prices/discounts/deals; in winery selling wine
Re 2) Authentic tasks/wine marketing students: present your winery, wine region, your country’s wine at a fair; conduct a wine tasting; organise a dinner with tasting menu and wine; start-up/ investor/ dragon’s den; present your wine marketing plan/your project at a meeting; present your thesis at a conference; make PowerPoint slides; write emails, business correspondence, translate documents/websites
- Online courses where the task IS the course – I will take another look at these later on.
- The biggest danger: simplification, i.e. guiding/supporting the students too much; don’t be afraid to make them think/challenge them.
- Think about what students can do with the product/task when it’s done – can it be published or shared somewhere, e.g. on YouTube?
- What is an ill-defined problem? Like a real life problem! Give students an opportunity to decide how they’re going to tackle the task.
- Re expert – teacher can be the expert
- A reflective exam can be an authentic task because it forces students to review the whole course: likewise, a portfolio.
Questions to check whether a learning task is authentic:
- What do the students do?
- Who uses the technology? (should be largely in the hand of the students)
- How long does it take?
- Is there collaboration?
- Is there a polished product?
- Is there a showcase or forum for the product?
I’m definitely going to use this grid to help me analyse tasks I’ve designed and to identify which of the 9 elements need reviewing.
Closing remark in response to this question: How do you know authentic, real, meaningful, passion-filled learning is happening before your eyes? “You’ll know it when you see it”
The panel discussion, Using problem-based, real-world activities in online classes, was about online classes taught by the panel members. Memorable moments/comments:
- PBL encourages students to take responsibility for their learning; very engaging; students have to look for information rather than expect to be given it
- The largest barrie rsto using PBL & creating active learning environments? TIME; it’s more work initially; but it really engages students.
- Recommendations if you want to start creating an authentic activity for your online class?
- Start small – rethink one idea from your course
- Work together with another colleague who’s also interested in PBL
- Consult an industry expert
- Just do it! Then revise/improve; don’t be afraid to experiment! (reminds me of Sue’s tip in connection with blogging!)
Closing remark : The future? “Online hybrid is the way to go” (Peter Leong). This caught my attention because this is the way I currently teach my courses: 50% F2F; 50% online. Personally, I feel it combines the best of both worlds. I used to teach only F2F classes but have never taught purely online, so I can only compare F2F with blended/hybrid.
The postings on the community wall: I read most of the blog posts and responded to only to a couple. One which very succinctly summarizes why students don’t participate in online discussions was posted by Debbie.
From my online teaching experience, I can relate to the following: Students
1) Aren’t clear on the expectations: where to post, what post should include (length, content, links, etc.) and/or deadline for posting
2) Feel they have nothing to contribute— are shy, reticent
3) Experience technical difficulties and/or novice user
6) Inhibited by timing of due dates for initial discussion posts, interfere with students’ work schedules
7) Discouraged by discussion questions that appear unrelated to course goals, and/or questions are vague and unfocused
8) Inhibited by certain students that appear to dominate
9) Students’ initial posts and/or responses to classmates are shallow and brief
10) Students’ are just not into it
Fortunately these have never occurred; maybe because my students have actually met each other F2F:
4) Are offended by fellow classmates’ post, or response to his or her post
5) Poor discussion etiquette
What I want to do with all the above input? Here’s a semester task I give my Master’s students in 4th semester which I intend to review using the framework to check how authentic it is.
Knowledge Management News Broadcast
The aim of this activity is to provide you with an opportunity to use/extend the vocabulary and apply the skills you’ve acquired in the first three semesters. It is an on-going project which you will do with three other students. It is part of your participation grade.
Here are the guidelines:
- Your news broadcast should last between 10-15 mins.
- The features should somehow be related to knowledge management.
- Each person in the team should have roughly the same speaking time.
- Roles for your team can be: anchorman/anchorwoman, roving reporter with eye-witness live reports, foreign correspondent etc.
- Give your news station a name and have a poster with your logo behind your news desk.
- Create a jingle for your news broadcast – if possible, produced by the group.
- Have lots of short but snappy features. If contributions are too long, it can get boring.
- Don’t forget to intersperse your news broadcast with 30-second commercial spots.
- Include a VIP interview either live or recorded, but keep who you have chosen as your VIP top secret from the other groups.
- Show evidence of the language and skills you have acquired over the past 2 years in your news broadcast (broad range of vocabulary & word partnerships, grammatical accuracy, presenting/moderating skills, and last but not least, excellent intonation and pronunciation).
The viewers you have in mind for this news broadcast are people interested in knowledge management – they could also be potential KM students. At our next F2F session, your speaking activity will be an editorial meeting with your group.
- Start thinking about what you could include in your group’s news broadcast – make notes/add ideas to your group’s Wallwisher wall (to be created by anchorwoman/man).
- Editorial meeting with your group in F2F 2 to discuss your ideas and put together a plan for who’s going to work on which tasks during the next online phase.
- Review your progress in the next editorial meeting in F2F 4 and decide who will present which part of your news broadcast, how and when. Upload recordings/ videos/ materials to one source e.g. an ePortfolio (top secret!), a Glog (http:/www.glogster.com/)
- Live news broadcast in our last F2F session (June), where each group member has to participate (live and/or recorded). A video of each news broadcast will be made (souvenir!).
Here are some useful phrases – pls incorporate some into your broadcast:
- We have with us in the studio Mr….., who has just ….
- Ms…… – welcome to the studio!
- We welcome to the studio Mr…..
- This is ………… reporting from …… Can you hear me?
- Yes, loud and clear. Go ahead!
- Sorry, Judy, but you are breaking up. We’ll get back to you later.
- And now over to ….
- And now back to the studio…
- This is ………. returning you to the studio.
- This was …… reporting for CNN.
- Our special correspondent John Smith is currently …and we’re connected with John via Skype.
- Reporting live from …
- We’ve just received word that …
- And now it’s time for a commercial break.
- Stay tuned.
- … an exclusive interview with …
- Thank you for joining us.
- Thank you for tuning into …
- So, until tomorrow, same time, same place …good evening!
- So, from all of us at the CNN studio, have a nice evening!
One thing which definitely needs rethinking after listening to all the discussion about rubrics is assessment. Till now, if students produced a news broadcast i.e. actively participated though out the semester and were involved in the final product (live or recorded), they got full marks.
What I did this week:
I adapted an online forum task (wine marketing class) and have now incorporated some triggers for responses (thank you, Rachel!). What do you think?
1) Post a comment on the marketing forum by 4 Nov – state the article title (+link/reference), 3 things you learnt, and one thing you found particularly interesting or surprising. When posting: make sure your subject line accurately reflects the title of the article.
2) Follow up: Read some postings from classmates who read a different article to yours. Then select one (preferably one that has not yet been responded to) and reply to that person by 18 Nov. When responding, try to go beyond a “yes” or “no” or “I agree”, and really engage with the person’s comment, e.g. ask questions to clarify something you’re unsure about, suggest alternatives, extend on an idea, offer a resource link for more information. Useful starters: I was intrigued…; When you mentioned that… it made me wonder….; Have you thought of…; What about…?
I also put together some tips on communicating online and have posted them on the VLE:
TIPS for online communication
- Make sure you check the platform regularly – for news/updates, forums for new postings etc. Twice a month is not enough!
- Check whether there’s anything in the handouts folder that you need to print out in preparation for the next F2F session a few days before your class – see handouts folder & the appropriate sub-folder for that F2F session. Otherwise, make sure you have access to these materials on your tablet/laptop in the F2F session.
- Online task descriptions – see them as a kind of “To Do” list – ticking things as you do them is satisfying! But careful – these descriptions will be updated & linked as the course proceeds, so make sure you’re always working from the current version linked to the course outline.
- Deadlines are set so that tasks are coordinated. It also means that there’s enough time for your tutor to read your postings/assignments and provide timely feedback. Pls stick to them! But if there’s a problem, get in touch with your tutor and ask for an extension.
- Email – only if there’s something very private you’d like to discuss with your tutor; otherwise post on the corresponding forum – then everyone will benefit from your query and the response.
- This is where you apply what you’re learning, where you communicate with your classmates and tutors and basically, where we all stay in touch/help each other during the online phases. The forums are monitored by your tutor, who will remain in the background unless something needs to be clarified. Your postings are a wonderful source of knowledge and are also the basis for valuable tutor feedback on language and task achievement. They are part of your participation grade.
- There are designated forums for the tasks you are assigned, so pls don’t make new forums; use the ones that are there, just make a new thread within those that exist.
- New forums will be created (by tutors) to accompany the online phases when the time comes.
- Post comments in the appropriate one, e.g. help forum – for any queries you have with your SDL, online tasks, language and to share/communicate with the community.
- Read through your class mates’ posts first and try not to duplicate theirs.
- Write a subject line that is a keyword summary of the content of your posting, e.g. IT/can’t upload file; KM article/where?
- Create lengthy texts in Word and then paste into a forum. This will alleviate any potential loss of your writing should there be an IT problem. And it means you can also spell-check/edit your text before posting. This is important because you won’t be able to edit your forum contributions after you publish.
- Linking materials/websites to your forum posting:
- Activate hyperlinks so that readers can access the URL with one click.
- Connect content on the platform by inserting the Factline ID – but always enter the .0 version.
- When responding, try to select classmates’ postings that haven’t already been replied to – it’s motivating for everyone to get a response.
- When responding, try to go beyond a “yes” or “no” or “I agree”. Give advice, ask questions to clarify something you’re unsure about, suggest alternatives, extend on an idea, offer a resource link for more information, or otherwise engage with one another’s comments. Useful starters: I was intrigued…; When you mentioned that… it made me wonder….; Have you thought of…; What about…?
It’s time to implement some of the ideas I’ve been exposed to over the last 6 weeks and working out what these are exactly will be the focus of my end-of-course reflection, which is the next (but not last) thing I’m going to do