Week 10 – Project

Reading Workshop

           My project is inspired by the endless number of students who struggle with reading comprehension on a daily basis. I’m not talking about those who misunderstand a word every now and then; I’m talking about the ones who never are passed grade after grade, are reading years behind where they should be, and are in third or fourth grade and still have not been able to tell you about the book they read. These are the students that are missing out on the most important part of education. If they don’t understand what they are reading how will they succeed in life?

The goal of my project is to implement what I call a reading workshop into the elementary classroom. I am focusing more on the delivery aspect rather than the evaluation. The idea is to create a triangle among the parents, students, and teacher using technology so that reading becomes a routine family activity. This idea that parent and teacher involvement is important is supported by multiple studies, one being Teacher Perceptions of Parent Involvement in Literacy Education which states “Durkin found that early readers tended to have parents or family members who: served as literate models, read aloud to the child, took time to interact with the child, and provided reading and writing materials.” (1997) In a study performed by Monique Senechal (2002), two types of literacy activities are identified: formal and informal. These activities have shown to have an effect on different aspect of reading. The reading workshop aims to target both types of literacy activities with the addition of technology to obtain the best possible results for elementary students.

While technology is the main source of communication and delivery of the program I am also implementing and highly encouraging the use of some wonderful online reading programs, including: storynory.com, starfall.com, and pbskids.com/lions. Hadjerrouit (2010) found that student centered web-based learning is a highly effective tool in education. Chen & Chen (2014) conducted a study, which used a reading annotation system. The results of this study were remarkable, finding that students who collaborated and communicated via technology showed a much higher rate of reading comprehension success.

Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles and Bloom’s Taxonomy have a strong influence in the foundation of this program, as well as the California Common Core Literacy Standards. The design of this program has been carefully thought out in order to gain the parents interest, provide a manageable technology based delivery system, maintain interest, encourage social activity and collaborative reading, and provide a fun family learning environment.

I have chosen a wonderful website called collaborizeclassroom.com in which to deliver this program to the families. I have included information posts, resources, small quizzes, short answer questions, forums, and questionnaires. The website allows the teacher to add whatever information she would like and create multiple types of assessments. Each time the site is updated the students/parents receive an email that includes the updated information. The workshop will not be restricted to the home environment; the assignments will be discussed in class to ensure understanding and involvement.

Please access the website by following this link: msgriffith.collaborizeclassroom.com  

Username: final648@yahoo.com

Password: drnewberry


Chen, C., & Chen, F. (2014). Enhancing digital reading performance with a collaborative reading   annotation system. Computers & Education, 67-81.

Hadjerrouit, S. (2010). Developing web-based learning resources in school education: A user-centered approach. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-learning and Learning Objectives, 6.

Linek, W. , Rasinski, T. , & Harkins, D. (1997). Teacher perceptions of parent involvement in literacy education. Reading Horizons, 38(2), 90.

Lysenko, L., & Abrami, P. (2014). Promoting reading comprehension with the use if technology. Computers and Education, 162-172.

Sénéchal, M. (2006). Testing the Home Literacy Model: Parent Involvement in Kindergarten Is Differentially Related to Grade 4 Reading Comprehension, Fluency, Spelling, and Reading for Pleasure. Scientific Studies Of Reading,10(1), 59-87. doi:10.1207/s1532799xssr1001_4

Sénéchal, M., & LeFevre, J. (2002). Parental Involvement in the Development of Children’s Reading Skill: A Five-Year Longitudinal Study. Child Development73(2), 445.


Week 9 – Plagiarism and Cheating

  1. Considering my intent is to teach elementary school, I think that I will deal mostly with students copying each other. As I started to answer this question I then began to wonder what age cheating starts and when children are completely aware of cheating when do they realize they can use the internet; the illustration from the article “How Could That Sweet Third-Grader Just Cheat on That School exam”, shown above, breaks down the ages and phases.
  1. I am going to use my project as an example so that I can implement technology. My project utilizes an online program that is set up with assignments geared toward the individual student, as well as the family. In this case I would watch very closely for answer that mimic each other. I think at a young age kids copy verbatim making it fairly easy for teachers to identify cheating. I would definitely require in quotes and, depending on the grade, modified citations, and include some form of an in class quiz or short essay regarding the material.

As students get older and start reading more complicated books, ones that have spark/cliff notes                              would definitely implement some kind of plagiarism software like Turnitout.

  1. There is a variety of reasons students plagiarize/cheat. According to the article ‘How can Universities stop students cheating online’ students cheat due to “stress, tiredness, and pressure to perform”. Dr. Newberry also mentioned the pressure in areas like med school where the demand is so extreme that students get overwhelmed with the amount of information. I think all of these issues point to pressure and the need to be successful. Most students are under stress and are tired because there is a lot of pressure to achieve a certain grade.

“Cheating in Online Student Assessment” talks about students who are distant from the educational environment tend to be more tempted to cheat. Time restriction is another reason for cheating. Online classes are often taken by students who have a full schedule; they work full time and have a family which leaves them with little time to for school work.

One last reason that students plagiarize is improper citations, this obviously is the most unintentional. Citations can be confusing so the more practice students get, the more comfortable they become, and the less problematic this type of plagiarism becomes.

  1. I think I played an active part in the discussion this week. Here is a reply that I hope will make some of you think a little before accusing and judging students work because you think you “know” they’re writing style. I think that this can be a very dangerous way to catch someone cheating.:

“I had an interesting experience in one of my undergrad composition classes.  All of our assignments dealt with responses to books excpet one, which was a paper regarding a very good movie we watched.  I  have never been the best write and I consistenly recieved average grades, except for this on assignment, I recieved a high B.  The disturbing part was the comment writen in large red letters…THIS IS NOT A RESEARCH PAPER, YOU WERE EXPECTED TO SHARE YOUR OWN OPIONS, which I did.  Why would I waste my tame researching something when I get to write my own opinion. I was livid, to say the least, and I always wondered what my grade would have been had he not accused me of “researching”.  With that said…I think as an instructor you have to be very careful on these kinds of accusations.  You have to look at the whole picture.  I think I wrote a much better paper because I was able to relate to the subject matter, whereas that was not the case in the previous assignments.”

  1. I think Laura played a very important role in the discussion this week. She presented lots of resources and offered great replies. Here is one that I really liked!

“You are so right Jeff. Ethics and morality are set at a very young age. It is a process of development that needs guidance.  Laura”

I think that as an educator I have to be very aware of my students work. But, most of all I have to design my courses in a way that will prevent cheating right off the bat. I think presenting students with the consequences of cheating can be a good start to prevention. Assigning work that requires students to draw from their experiences and teaching proper citation techniques is also extremely helpful.

Cheating in Online Student Assessment: Beyond Plagiarism (Cheating in Online Student Assessment:Beyond Plagiarism) http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer72/rowe72.html

Online Plagiarism and Cybercheating Still Strong – 61.9% – NeoAcademic (NeoAcademic RSS http://neoacademic.com/2011/02/04/online-plagiarism-and-cybercheating-still strong/#.VIUryYcreJV

Slater, H. (2014). How can universities stop students cheating online? The Guardian. Retrieved     December 2, 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/mar/14/students  cheating-plagiarism-online

Week 8

Session 8 Focus Tasks. Respond to the following items on you blog. Your responses must be available on your blog no later than midnight on Sunday ending the week.

In addition, you must visit other student blogs (from session 1) and make at least three posts in the comments section of those blogs.

  1. Provide a project update. What is your working title?

Reading Comprehension in the Modern Schools (tentative)

I want to write up a plan that will be based on a triangle of communication between teacher, student, and parent. I think the most difficult part of teaching is getting the parents actively involved. I know there are a few online programs that public schools encourage the students to use at home. The issue I see is that the children are sitting on the computer by themselves, flying through the lessons and not getting the information in the way it was intended. In a perfect world I could grade the parents on their involvement in their child’s education, unfortunately that is not an option. I also would like there to be some kind of discussion in which the students can discuss books. I know it may sound like a lot for a 2nd grader but my daughter steals my phone and texts her friends all the time so I am convinced they would be able to carry on a very short discussion.

  1. How is your project connected to eLearning?

I will make this an elearning based program. The students/parents will be provided with reading comprehension programs that are part of their weekly homework. The child will be evaluated on the involvement with the program, as they will be programs I will be able to track. I will require that the parents submit a small blurb on their child’s progress or lack there of, probably bi-weekly. Depending on the progress the parent and I will come up with a plan of action to aid the child in success.

  1. How is your project relevant for you?

My intent is to work at the elementary level. I have learning differences so the struggle is very real for me and I can empathize with those students who struggle with these issues. I believe the only real way to confront these issues is with the extreme involvement of the parents. With the amount of time that children are using technology I think that education should be a regular part of the interaction. Parents need to realize that the computer is not taking the place of their involvement.

  1. What are the three most interesting/relevant/informative/important articles in your bibliography for your project?

Lysenko, L., & Abrami, P. (2014). Promoting reading comprehension with the use if technology. Computers and Education, 162-172.

Chen, C., & Chen, F. (2014). Enhancing digital reading performance with a collaborative reading annotation system. Computers & Education, 67-81.

Ponce, H., Mayer, R., & Lopez, M. (2013). A computer-based spatial learning strategy approach that improves reading comprehension and writing. Educational Technology Research & Development, 61(5), 819-840. doi:10.1007/s11423-013-9310-9

  1. What is authentic assessment in your context. Please explain important details like grade level, content area etc.

Authentic Assessment is an evaluation technique in which to gauge the ability of a student to apply the material that has been taught to them over a given period of time.

By second grade the majority of children are able to read fluently and the focus shifts to comprehension. An example of authentic assessment would be for children to read a short story on bullying, be able to identify the bad behavior in the story, identify the person who is bullying versus the person getting hurt, and describe the course of action that should be taken if they are to encounter a bullying situation. Students would be assessed on their ability to apply what they have read to a real world situation.

Another example that would work with second/third graders is measurement. The students are given a lesson/s on cooking measurements. They are then given a recipe and required to execute the directions in order to produce an edible dish. The students work would be assessed on the outcome of their ability to follow the directions, measure the ingredients, and have an end result that is edible.

  1. What are three types of portfolios? Choose one type of portfolio and explain how you could implement it in some eLearning setting.

Reflective, Learning, and Performance/Demonstrative

I am going to choose a reflective portfolio. A reflective portfolio showcases the knowledge that the student has gained through out the entire learning process, as well as require the student to contemplate the direction this new found knowledge is leading him in. “The Learning Portfolio” article listed questions that one might use to guide a reflective portfolio:

  • What have I learned? Why did I learn?
  • When have I learned? In what circumstances? Underwhat conditions?
  • How have I learned or not, and do I know what kind of learner I am?
  • How does what I have learned fit into a full, continual plan for learning?
  • What difference has learning made in my intellectual personal, and ethical development?
  • Where, when, and how have I engaged in integrative learning? Has my learning been connected and coherent?
  • Is my learning relevant, applicable, practical?
  • When, how, and why has my learning surprised me?
  • What have been the proudest highlights of my learning? The disappointments?
  • In what ways has my learning been valuable?
  • What difference has portfolio mentoring made in my learning?

As far as implementation, I believe this could potentially work in classes as short as ten weeks, as well as degree programs. Of course, the portfolio from a class versus a program would look completely different. Not only would it show instructors that their students are able to apply what they have learned but it could possible eliminate the damage that can be done to a students grade if they do not test well. I think it also touches on deep/shallow learning that we explored earlier in the quarter.

Zubizarreta, J. (n.d.). The Learning Portfolio: A Powerful Idea for Significant Learning. The Idea Center. Retrieved from http://ideaedu.org/sites/default/files/IDEA_Paper_44.pdf

  1. What is competency based learning? How could this impact your career?

Competency based learning allows students to learn at their own pace. When they have mastered the material and demonstrated their knowledge they are able to move forward. This type of learning enables students to move at their own pace and gives the opportunity to complete their work at a faster pace than what traditional learning/teaching allows.

Teaching careers could look completely different if competency based learning is implemented. I think teachers would be there more for support, guidance, and assessment. Teacher-student interaction would be more of a one on one experience rather than the traditional lecture environment. For the teacher, I’m not sure that it would necessarily be more work rather than a differenent type of work. An article on NPR.com called “Copetency-based Education: No more Semesters?” elaborates on the importance of students checking in with the teachers, as well as the ability to apply the knowledge and prove competencies so that schools do not turn into “diploma mills”.

  1. Evaluate your participation in the discussion this week. Provide at least one quote from the discussion that supports your evaluation.

I did participate in the discussion this week but I think I could have added more to the discussion topics than I did. I chose this because I like the reply that I got from Daniel Perkins, which elaborated on my thoughts.

I actually think an electronic portfolio would be fabulous, it would teach organization and help students keep track of their work. I still have a tendency to forget how I saved my work for each class so I end up with documents saved under all kinds of crazy names.  If I had to keep a portfolio of all my work than I would be  more likely to keep it more organized.  I think it would benefit the student more than anything. Especially in a master’s program where a portfolio has to be presented as a final project.

Daniel: The Portfolios combat many of the issues you speak of here, in addition to the academic skills they support, it is the 21st century literacy skill set ,supported by the CTE community, that recommends that we instill this type of organizational skill for our learners to employ as soon as is practicable so that they come into the workplace able to  develop plans, organize their work and can collaborate with all other stakeholders or group members to complete a multi-layered project.

  1. Identify the student you think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

Dr. Newberry: Bonus points for the Bruce Lee reference!

Know I know how to get bonus points ;-)!

For me in particular, Laura Mitobe was important. She replied to my project with a very insightful and informative post.

Hi Rachel,

Yes, getting parents involved is quite a challenge. What if you assigned a very short book and sent some questions that require the child to interview the parents about the book? If parents do not speak English, they could discuss the pictures. Send home a notice forewarning the parents about the assignments. Have the kids and/or parents email the responses. If you have a small discussion board, the parents could post their responses there. If you have kids without parents, perhaps they could go to an older sibling, aunt/uncle, grandparent to complete the assignment. Have the kids make reading hats for themself and their “reading partner”. Make finger puppets for parents and the kids to read with. Start small and build up. Create an online parent/child book club.

Hope this helps.

Here are a couple of websites:




  1. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

I learned a lot about portfolios this week and how beneficial they could be. Before this session, when I thought about portfolios I thought about a big binder of electronic file with piles of work from the class. After this week I have a completely different idea and attitude towards them. They can be a very useful tool in evaluating the knowledge a student has gained over a given period of time, as was as the ability to apply that knowledge in a real world situation.

Week 7 – Rubric

1. Overall, how well did your rubric work?

I am not overly impressed with my rubric. I felt like it didn’t give enough credit to students who did a little more work than the average student. It definitely did not grade harshly. Of course the student who did not do the work would not get the points but I fear that some students would get too many points for what they contributed. On the other hand, there will always be those who go above and beyond, so I guess that is their prerogative.

  1. Identify and explain the strengths of your rubric.

I do think my rubric touched the main points of the discussion and focused on the engagement aspect. Discussion boards are a way to replace the engagement that occurs in f2f classes and I think my rubric definitely awarded appropriate points to those who engaged accordingly.

  1. Identify and explain one weaknesses of your rubric.

I don’t think my rubric was detailed enough. I need to be more specific as to what exactly I am looking for in each topic. For example: outside resources-where citations included? I also think I allotted too many points for certain topics.

  1. What changes would you make to your rubric now that you have used it?

Revised Rubric

Possible points    Points earned
Did the student post a minimum of 3 times within 3 days of the start of the discussion? 6
Did the student directly reply to the prompt? 8
Did the student reference outside research and/or class readings and include citations as needed? 4
Did the student respond and engage in other student’s posts? 7
Did the student moderate his

post in a timely manner?


5. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

Between last week and this week, I have learned that grading is one of the most challenging parts of teaching, especially online. I can see why teaching techniques are ever evolving, kind of like parenting. It is a continuous process of trial and error.

I really liked some of different suggestions that “Protocols for Online Discussion” gave for discussion boards. I am particularly interested in the techniques that break students into smaller groups; I think that could have lots of benefits. It could prevent students from being overlooked due to the overwhelming number of posts, it could prevent the boards from being overwhelming, it would allow for a more intimate conversation, and I think it might make it a little easier to grade smaller discussions. The “Down and Dirty” article shared some fantastic suggestions. Expectations are definitely important, it sets the tone for the entire length of the class, as well as helping with the grading process.

Week 6 – Grading

  1. Give three purposes for grading in an online class. Explain each one and then provide an example or guideline for accomplishing each purpose.
  • Checks on activity-this could mean instructors checking on how many times the students are accessing the class. This helps a teacher determine whether or not the students is staying engaged in the class
  • Shape performance-grading, if done weel, can be used to encourage students to internalize the information and apply it, rather than regurgitate it and forget it. For example, our discussion board. We are required to research information and then make it applicable to different stuations we are presented with.
  • Motivation-this is a big one. We all need motivation, even in f2f classes. As semeseters/quarters near the end students tend to loose motivation. We all know that the end result is a grade and in order to obtain the grade we desire we must stay engaged.
  1. You have been called to consult with a university which is about to create a brand new totally online graduate program in leadership education. As part of your consultation you have been asked to provide a short written policy (for the student and instructor handbooks) related to grading policy. List (bullet list) the top five issues your policy will address.
  • Alphanumeric system vs pass/fail
  • Engagement requirements
  • What to expect from instructor – teaching presence, best practices
  • Feedback techniques
  • Ability to apply, nalayze, synthesize, and evaluate
  1. As part of the consultation with the university on creating an online program you have been asked to create a rubric that can be used across all program classes to grade the online discussions. The idea is to provide a single rubric that is generalized enough to provide a guide for student engagement in the discussion, and for instructors to be able to grade the discussions with a minimum of effort. Students in these classes are all professional educators with a college education. Each class is required to have one discussion each week and the discussion is the only planned method for student-student interaction in the class. It has been decided that discussions will be worth 30 points and this represents 30% of the total points available in the session. The rubric you create must be simple for the instructor to use but specific enough so that students clearly understand what they are to do and why they get the grade they receive.
Possible points Points received
Was the post made within the allotted time 5
Were all the questions answered appropriately 7
Did the student include outside research 7
Did the student respond and engage in other students posts 6
Did the student moderate his post in a timely manner 5
  1. Choose a topic that is familiar to you and create three excellent learning objectives. Explain why the objectives you create are excellent.

Student will be able to:

  • Define: setting, characters, plot
  • Identify setting, characters, and plot of a book from a given list
  • Write a one page book report using these three points.
  1. Describe an eLearning activity that will have students meet one or more of the objectives you just created.

A discussion board will be provided for the students to communicate with others who read the same book. They will be required to discuss the book and the characteristics of the book report.

  1. Explain how you will grade the student work in the above activity. For example you may want to provide a rubric or describe other methods used.
Discussion:20 pts Possible points Awarded points
Did the students define setting, Character, plot 5
Did the student identify the 3 characteristics of the book 5
Did the students engage/participate in the discussions 5
Did the student respond to at least 3 others with useful critiques 5
Book Report: 40 pts
Did srudent include setting, characters, and plot 10
Did student identify setting, characters, and plot 10
Did student elaborate and give detail 10
Grammar 10
  1. Explain how you will provide feedback to the student in the above activity. Include an example of your feedback if possible.

First, I will do my best to be present on the discussion board in order to guide the students. Second, I will return the rubric with the scores, as well as a comment section with positive feedback.

  1. Quote your best entry from this week’s Blackboard discussion. Explain why you chose it and what it demonstrates about your understanding, learning process etc.

I found the discussion board a little overwhelming this week. I try to get on it and respond earlier in the week because once there are tons of comments I feel like my heads going to explode. This was a response to one of Victor’s replies. Hopefully it will spark some conversation but seeing that it’s the end of the week, it probably won’t.

I completely agree with you Victor.  Portfolios are definitely sufficient for certain areas, even necessary.  I guess it would be kind of tricky to asses a med student specializing in plastic surgery by giving him a human subject and letting him perform surgery and decide whether or not he passed?!  Okay, that was kind of joke.  But in all honesty, I feel like it is almost impossible to not use a numerical grading system for certain aspects of a class.  For example, anatomy, is it really necessary to have some drawn out discussion about the location of organs in the human body when you can simply hand out a piece of paper and have the students identify parts? Could there possibly be a better way of eliminating numerical grades from final grades, yet have numerical grades still have its place along the course of the class?

  1. Identify the student you think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

I thought both Christen and Laura were both crucial to this weeks discussion as they were the ones to get it going. I particularly like this post by Laura:

“Here is a website that gives 12 alternatives to grading:

http://www.teachthought.com/teaching/12-alternatives-to-letter-grades-in-education/ “

Although just a shared link, it sparked tons of conversation and lots of people went through the list and picked out aspects of it they liked and shared with the rest of the class.

  1. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

This week I found out that I have a lot to learn about grading. As a teacher I will have a lot of decisions to make and I am sure that it will all be a matter of trial and error in the beginning. I want to put into play a system that is best for my students, one that will only help them succeed, motivate them, and impart a positive attitude. As I say that and think back about the negative connotations a grade can have, I think that I will probably focus less on a grade a more on the student work. With that said, I am sure grades will still be party of the public school system, but I think I can implement some tools to make it a less painful process, for the students at least.

Week 5 – Teaching Presence

  1. In your own words, define Instructional Presence.

Instructional presence – the role an instructor plays in elearning. This includes the communication and the presentation of the material. The involvement of an instructor can have major influence on the engagement of the students and the success of the course. Developing a safe communication environment between both student-student and student-instructor is crucial.

  1. Name three things that your instructor identifies as contributing to Instructional Presence. Explain why these are, or are not consistent with your definition of Instructional Presence.

Interaction, effective communication, motivation.

I believe all three of these are consistent with my definition. They must all be present in order for students to engage and remain engaged throughout the class. A successful instructor will do this without being overbearing but making his presence known to ensure he is playing his part as instructor.

  1. Who are the researchers most often identified with the construct of “Teaching Presence”?

Carol R. Rodgers, Miriam Raider- Roth and D.R. Garrison

Rodgers and Raider-Roth research and explore teaching presence and the aspects that cause successful teaching presence. “…we need to speak out loud about it and not be embarrassed by he non-technical-rational (Schön, 1983) nature of presence’. (Rodgers & Raider-Roth, 284) I love this quote because it is matter of fact. Elearning is not conventional and it still has lots of growing to do, it is okay to focus on the social and relational aspects of teaching through technology.

D.R. Garrison introduced the three types of presence in teaching presence.

  1. What are the three types of presence that Teaching Presence requires? Name and describe each.

Social – “…the ability to project one’s self and establish personal and purposeful

relationships. The three main aspects of social presence, as defined here, are effective communication, open communication and group cohesion.” (Garrison, 63) Social presence is not only about making relationships, especially considering that takes quite a bit of time, it is about the ability to feel comfortable communicating. Students in an online class must be able to communicate through discussion boards, email, and also be able to work as a team.

Cognitive –“… the exploration, construction, resolution and confirmation of

understanding through collaboration and reflection in a community of inquiry.” (Garrison, 65) It was found that resolution was often difficult to get students to achieve because it was a more difficult process. Students aid each other during the discussion process and by engaging with each other and communicating effectively resolution is reached.

Teaching – Teaching presence is the involvement of the teacher and how the teacher interacts through the course. This type of presence is mainly concerned with validation. Students need to be encouraged and they need confirmation that they are doing assignments correctly. Teaching presence also includes feedback in a timely manner. If an instructor does not understand the balance of teaching presence it can lead to student failure.

Rodgers, C., & Raider-Roth, M. (2006). Teachers and Teaching: Theory and practice. Teachers and Teaching, 12(3), 265-287. Retrieved October 1, 2014.


  1. Choose one of the three types of presence named in item #4 and identify ways and instructor can create or improve this type of presence in an online class.

To create teaching presence and instructor must be active in the class. He must clearly state expectations and assignments. Feedback is also extremely important, possibly the most important. Students in elearning classes do no have the f2f opportunity to communicate with the instructor therefore, it is crucial for the instructor to respond promptly to questions and assignments to the students can feel validated and can continue on with their assignments in confidence.

6.Explain how the readings this week (and your own research) connects with the Blackboard discussion.

The blackboard discussion focused on teaching presence and tools that aid in creating it. I found the research to be interesting and I liked how the articles broke it down. As teachers or future teachers of elearning it is important that we are aware of the aspect of elearning. I thought the article Effective Online Communication brought up an important point, the way test is written and interpreted. Just like in text massging converstaions or email, a message can be twisted and taken completely out of context. Verbal/nonverbal cues are extremely important.

  1. Quote your best entry from this week’s Blackboard discussion. Explain why you chose it and what it demonstrates about your understanding, learning process etc.

“Characteristics that make a medium rich vs. lean include the ability to provide rapid two-way exchanges, ability to provide images or video, and audio vs. text only exchanges (Newberry, 2001).”

“I quoted this sentence from Dr. Newberry’s Teaching Presence article because I believe a rich medium is extremely important.  I am currently taking three classes, 2 of which the instructors have provided at least one video of themselves, numerous audio, and a picture, the  third of these instructors has not.  I find it very difficult to connect with that class in general because I don’t “know” the instructor.  It is always the class that is last on my list.  This idea of connection also applies to my peers.  There are certain classmates whose posts I will read first because they have pictures on their profile and I can place a face with their text.

Another practice that I find to be helpful is feedback.  Unpredictable feedback can be frustrating and leave me feeling like I may not be doing my work correctly, which in turn, leads me to hesitate on assignments.  I know on every Monday to check for Dr. Newberry’s feedback.  This gives me confidence in my work so I know whether I need to change something or continue as I have been.

Quality vs. quantity….for me, as a student, I will take short paragraphs that gets to the point over a 3 paragraph response any day.  I have to admit there have been many times I have clicked on a post and quickly made my way to the next because it was soooooo long and sooooo wordy, and the jargon that was used made me cringe.  I believe that it doesn’t matter how knowledgeable you are or how intelligent the listener is, nobody wants to hear a ramble, much less read one.  The article that touched on quality vs quantity will not open for some reason so I do not have a direct quote.  If I can get to it I will add some quotes from it.”

I chose this post because as a student I think the prompt allowed me to evaluate my experiences with elearning this quarter. I was able to look at how the classes are being taught and think about what is working and what is not, and what makes the difficulty of an elearning environment a little less tedious.

  1. Identify the student you think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

Carolyne Obonyo: I think she did a fantastic job of going above and beyond. She offered tons of great resources and initiated great conversation.

I found this topic interesting and went further to read about tools that can support video feedback. I have to create time and try using some of them. Here are some which I found out:

  • Comment Bubble.
  • Google drive apps like VideoNot.es, WeVideo, Wideo.co & Kaizena.
  • Web based screencasting tools like screencastify.
  • Explain Everything, Evernote & The  Live Scribe Pen.

Another alternative to provide response and still make it interactive is by use of screencasts and audio.

Feedback via screencast: Jing is a free screen capture software which can be used to record anything you can see on your computer screen and record corresponding audio. The advantage of using this tool is that the student can see his/her Word document and listen to the explanations as the tutor highlights and corrects a sentence or a paragraph. It also allows the instructor to give more explanations without writing a long paragraph.

Some advantages of using Jing:

  • Very little initial training needed. It is easy to use and the recording does not add to the file size as the link can be copied and pasted in the student’s script.
  • It allows the instructor to provide more in-depth explanations while correcting on the student’s Word document.
  • Students can easily follow the explanations provided on screen.
  • This type of feedback could help with pronunciation and might be useful for students with dyslexia.
  • Students like listening to the tutor’s voice hence its more personal and memorable.

It is free.

  1. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

I learned a lot this week about the instructors influence in online learning. The teaching presence of an instructor can make or break the success of a class. I believe as an instructor that it will take time to perfect the course of action and the necessary tools to make the class successful and it may not work for every class. Each class will have it’s own dynamic and the delivery and upkeep may have to be tweaked.

I like that we explored the place of video in elearning. It may not be the easiest way of giving feedback but I think it has it’s place and is important to build a relationship with the students.

Week 4 – Annotated Bibliographies

Bernacki, M. L., Byrnes, J. P., & Cromley, J. G. (2012). The effects of achievement goals and self-regulated learning behaviors on reading comprehension in technology-enhanced learning environments. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37(2), 148-161. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2011.12.001

Blackwell, C., Lauricella, A., & Wartella, E. (2014). Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education. Computers and Education, 82-90.

Chen, C., & Chen, F. (2014). Enhancing digital reading performance with a collaborative reading annotation system. Computers & Education, 67-81

Chu, H. (2014). Potential negative effects of mobile learning on students’ learning achievement and cognitive load – a format assessment perspective. Educational Technology and Society, 17(1), 332-344.

Fante, R., Jacobi, L. L., & Sexton, V. D. (2013). The Effects of Instant Messaging and Task Difficulty on Reading Comprehension. North American Journal Of Psychology, 15(2), 287-298.

Hadjerrouit, S. (2010). Developing web-based learning resources in school education: A user-centered approach. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-learning and Learning Objectives, 6.

Lysenko, L., & Abrami, P. (2014). Promoting reading comprehension with the use if technology. Computers and Education, 162-172.

Ponce, H., Mayer, R., & Lopez, M. (2013). A computer-based spatial learning strategy approach that improves reading comprehension and writing. Educational Technology Research & Development, 61(5), 819-840. doi:10.1007/s11423-013-9310-9

Wijekumar, K., Meyer, B. F., & Lei, P. (2013). High-fidelity implementation of web-based intelligent tutoring system improves fourth and fifth graders content area reading comprehension. Computers & Education, 68366-379. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2013.05.021

Yanghee, K. (2013). Digital Peers to Help Children’s Text Comprehension and Perceptions. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 16(4), 59-70

 Annotated Bibliographies

Blackwell, C., Lauricella, A., & Wartella, E. (2014). Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education. Computers and Education, 82-90.

Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education studies the factors that affect the use of technology among early childhood educators. Researchers took many factors into consideration including – first order barriers: SES of the students, school policy, school support, attitude and second-order barriers: teaching experience and teacher confidence in technology. They hypothesized the second order barriers were dependent on first-order barriers.

Survey data from 1234 early childhood educators was collected using a likert scale. The findings showed that all factors largely affected the use of technology among early childhood classrooms. Attitude was the leading factor followed by support, confidence, technology policy, and teaching experience. The study is concluded by stating that in order to integrate technology teachers must have proper support.

This article is relevant to those studying technology in early childhood education and puts an emphasis on the importance of support. The research data was difficult to follow. With surveys being the form of data collection it seems that it would not be the most accurate way of investigating this topic, classroom observations would help with the accuracy. Over all this was a good article for the topic being studied.

Lysenko, L., & Abrami, P. (2014). Promoting reading comprehension with the use if technology. Computers and Education, 162-172.

International comparisons show that even after years of school large numbers of children are not good readers. This study investigates two web based applications and their effect on elementary students. One application being an interactive, web based app called ABRA and the other a digital process portfolio called ePearl. The issue being faced is the lack of knowledge on how to promote reading comprehension.

Two studies were done, study 1 in 2010-2011 and study 2 in 2011-2012. The first study utilized 38 teachers and 748 1st and 2nd grade students; the second study utilized 9 teachers (4 previous and 5 new) and 381 students. Vocabulary and comprehension both benefitted from the programs, but listening comprehension did not. The use of these technology systems brought in class literacy time up to approximately 20 hours verses 9 hours that were being given to literacy in the control classrooms.

This is a fabulous article on the use of technology. The process of the study was clearly stated as well as the findings. I would highly recommend this study to those researching the benefits of technology in the classroom.

Chu, H. (2014). Potential negative effects of mobile learning on students’ learning achievement and cognitive load – a format assessment perspective. Educational Technology and Society, 17(1), 332-344.

This study looks into the effects of mobile technology use on learning. With the growing use of mobile technology students have the ability to learn in a variety of locations. This research studies whether this technology may actually be harming students learning achievement and cognitive load.

Two fifth grade classes were used in the study along with a unit on indigenous cultures. Students were given a “set of learning targets in a real world environment” (335). If the incorrect answer was given they were prompted to find the information on their own. Pre-tests and post-tests were given to measure the effectiveness of the program. The pre-test showed no real difference between the control group and the experimental group and the post-test showed the control group achieved higher scores than that of the group using mobile devices.

This was a very informative study and the researched was delivered wonderfully. The information on the research process as well as the finding was presented in an understandable and detailed manner. I would recommend this article

Hadjerrouit, S. (2010). Developing web-based learning resources in school education: A user-centered approach. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-learning and Learning Objectives, 6.

This study investigates web based learning resources (WBLR) and the potential they have to help students excel in the classroom. It focuses on the user-centered approach to create these WBLR’s in order to make them more effective. The article contains three literature reviews concerning the concept of WBLR, development issues, and Pedagogical Usability.

First, the aspects of user-centered development are reviewed: Analysis, design, metaphor, user interface design, architecture design, user feedback, and rapid prototyping. Three user-centered WBLR’s were created for 3 groups of students, 65 students ages 14-16. The perceptions of the students and teachers were reviewed. It was concluded that the use of WBLR’s is largely beneficial as long as the teachers are possess the skills needed to produce the programs.

This is a great article that is packed full of information regarding user-centered WBLR’s. I would have like to see a larger experimental group as it was small and limited to a three year age range. Overall this is a good source of information to get started on research dealing with WBLR’s.

Chen, C., & Chen, F. (2014). Enhancing digital reading performance with a collaborative reading annotation system. Computers & Education, 67-81.

This study researched the effects of digital reading. There is concern that digital reading “leads to shallow reading, short attention spans, and poor comprehension” (67), early studies have confirmed this. The study was done using two 5th grade classes using a collaborative reading annotation system and interactive discussion scaffold (CRAS-RAIDS). Three different variables were assessed: reading attitude, reading comprehension, and reading strategy. The control group used paper based collaborative reading and interacted using writing and face-to-face discussion. The experimental group used CRAS_RAIDS and had access to six interactive discussion scaffolds and was able o access the annotations of their peers.

Two experienced teachers evaluated the students. The annotations were separated into two categories; the experimental group contained almost double the number of discussion posts as the control group. Reading comprehension was measure using pre-tests and post-tests. Again, the experimental group scored higher in the posttest then the control group.

This is a wonderful study. It is thorough and informative and offers numerous statistical charts to back up the information. I would definitely recommend this article to someone who is researching how to improve reading comprehension with technology.