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.


6 thoughts on “Week 8

  1. gcaudill

    Hi Rachel,
    I really like that your project idea requires the parents to be involved, especially with the little ones! I think the key to connecting with parents is communicating with them on their phones somehow, because they always have their phones with them. I use Class Dojo with my students and there is a messenger app that the parents can download to receive messages from me and so that I can send them messages too. I can send private messages, or I can send one to all the parents who have signed up. It might be a good way to send parents reminders of what they need to do with their child each night, and it takes little time and effort on your part once they are signed up. Good luck on your project!


  2. Brian

    Yes, for bonus points just provide an in-context reference to Bruce Lee, Check Yeager, Sun Tzu, Jose Ortega y Gasset, or some other specific but unnamed here person of interest to Dr. Newberry!


  3. elearningcsusb

    Rachael- I love your focus on getting parents involved- “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 it’s a challenge but you are on the right track. When reading doesn’t happen at home during childhood, those students end up in my Basic Skills classes because they test in at a 3rd-8th grade level reading. 88% of our students at my college have to spend 1-2 semesters “catching up” on their reading and writing. Get the parents involved when the kids are young!


  4. hyesu19888

    Hi Rachel, I think your project topic is really interesting and I am really looking forward to seeing your final product. And I also think that a reflective portfolio is really helpful to students because it could be a showcase which present well what students have learned and it helps students to assure their knowledge by summarizing information. Moreover, the sample questions you offered for the reflective portfolio activity are really helpful because I will use this activity in my project. I think I can refer those questions. Thank you for sharing!



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