Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6

Patricia Morlock E-Learning Practicum Midterm EDUC 764

Following Instructions The Instructors Nemesis


Patti Morlock

Patricia Morlock E-Learning Practicum Midterm EDUC 764 February 14, 2014

Active And Engage My Context I just finished week three of my internship with the students of an Instructional Design Course. Prior to the course beginning, I spent time reviewing the course content, giving a second look at new changes my supervising instructor was making, and creating a rubric in another format for her to preview. During the first week of the course, the typical icebreakers were had for introductions, and I was assigned a group for discussion. There are two groups for this class and I will alternate groups throughout the course. The activities are identical, with the same choices allowed, and the instructions are clearly spelled out in the course content, as well as at the top of the discussion page. About the Event While I have responsibility for my group only, I was keenly aware of the activity in the other group, as my supervising instructor had made mention of it during our weekly phone conversation. Her effusiveness of their excellent posts gave me no reason to expect anything less. Two of the students in my group (Group 1 this week), failed to follow the instructions, one by simply going on and on with her own opinions and not referencing the required readings or even another outside source, and the other student by doing her post only and not responding to any of her classmates at all, nor doing any of the other assignments scheduled for the week. The rest of the students in the group seemed to have no difficulty with the instructions and this was reflected in the quality of their posts which met the rubric standards, as well as their thoughtful responses to their classmates. Issues and concerns As I reflect on this, I have several questions:

Patricia Morlock E-Learning Practicum Midterm EDUC 764 February 14, 2014

Is the rubric itself not clear enough? Is there an underlying reason these particular students failed to follow the instructions? Is comprehension from the student a problem, or does it lie with the actual design of the course? How about the obvious looking to see how others are doing it? Is this a problem with just a few, or is it pervasive among the group? Perspective and Perception Im a type A person, and when taking these courses, I was usually one of the first to post and followed the rubric to the letter, I realize there are also those who wait till late in the week, or even those who put it off till the very end, after completing the rest of their assignments. Some may also wait to see how others post, is either because they didnt quite grasp the assignment and waited for clarification through others, or because seeing other examples sparked their own imagination. That being said, I also realize there are students who communicate with the instructor over every hangnail, and others who wouldnt dream of emailing the instructor over something as trivial as, oh, not understanding the course instructions. Explore and Discover Weigh Priorities Wanting to give students every chance for success is our goal, right? So the question goes back to is this isolated to a few students, or is it a systemic problem. Were the instructions unclear, written poorly, or simply incomprehensible? Seeing how the rest of the students (in both Group I and Group II) were responding, I had my answer, so it was time to do something so that these two could get back on track regardless of the cause.

Patricia Morlock E-Learning Practicum Midterm EDUC 764 3

Patricia Morlock E-Learning Practicum Midterm EDUC 764 February 14, 2014

Search for Patterns Something Ive noticed in the several online courses where I have been a student is that its usually the initial discussion that sets the tone for those that follow. If a first posting is marginal, its not unusual to see many subsequent posting be marginal at best. But if that first posting is a knock-out, with multi-referenced links and visuals, maybe even some audio thrown in, you can be sure that the subsequent posts will follow suit. Im not saying its ALWAYS the case, but it would be interesting to do a study on it to see what the percentages are. Analyze Cause-Effect Relationship When I discovered that these two students had missed the mark where instructions were concerned, my instructor and I were in communication and decided that an e-mail from me as an intervention would help. I sent them the link to the rubric and suggested they edit their assignment to meet the requirements before the Saturday due date. Here is the e-mail I sent:
Subject: Module 1 Instructions Hi Student A and B While going through the ckecklist<https://uwstout.courses.wisconsin.edu/d2l/lms/checklist/checklist.d2l?checklistId=27965 &ou=2395691> for module 1 I noticed that you are missing activity #4 which is a dropbox activity asking you to fill out form 3 or 3b from the back of your book. On the top right hand side of your home screen, under other tools, you will see the checklist tab and I've found it to be an invaluable tool to keep me organized each week with assignments due. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Try to get this is ASAP so you don't get too far behind with upcoming work. It has a way of catching up with us as weeks go by. I also noticed that your initial post doesnt have a link to any references. Perhaps you forgot? Let me know if I can be of help, Patti M

Patricia Morlock E-Learning Practicum Midterm EDUC 764 February 14, 2014

Both students received the e-mail in the spirit it was intended, but only one made partial edits. This e-mail was also sent to my instructor, but not as a blind copy. Organizing and Integrating Connection I am all about giving the student every opportunity to experience success, especially in an online learning environment, where the language and environment may be a new experience for them, where motivation to complete a course may be a factor, and where other external factors such as job and family obligations may play a key role in successful completion. To that end, communication is a key component here. But somewhere there has to be a fine line between making every resource available and baby-sitting a student to get it right. Ultimately, because these are graduate students, the expectation has to be graduate level work. So, where does one draw the line. When it becomes obvious that a very small percentage of students, (in this case 2 out of 18), fail to follow the instructions, and opportunity has been given to fix a given problem to no satisfaction, then it can be assumed that the problem lies with the students and not the instructor or the design. Generalization It was my thought that during the first week or so of an online course, we as instructors could be a bit more lenient as we help our students find their groove. And so I was afraid to grade to harshly. I was in for an eye-opener when my instructor showed me differently how after pointing the students back to what they needed, and then having them fail to follow-through, their grades needed to reflect that (as well as the comments for their grades) so that they would not repeat those mistakes in subsequent weeks.
Patricia Morlock E-Learning Practicum Midterm EDUC 764 5

Patricia Morlock E-Learning Practicum Midterm EDUC 764 February 14, 2014

Applications Im a pastor, and have been able to apply so much of what I have learned in these courses in my other life. My communication skills have changed, both in how I write as well as how I deliver an oral message. I work with a wide range of people, locally in a congregation, regionally as a liaison for a multi-denominational group, and nationally as a member of the selection committee for candidates for ordination. I have become very effective and confident as a presenter, and as a result, have been recognized for those efforts. Personal Learning You can lead a horse to water, but you cant make it drink. People, like horses, will only do what they have a mind to do. No matter the prodding, or guiding, or outright telling someone to do something a specific way, if a person doesnt have it in their mind that they are going to do things a specific way, it simply wont happen. My scenario happened week one. Over the last two weeks, this has proven to be the case in particular with these two students in a variety of ways too numerous to mention. Will they complete the course? Time will tell, especially for the one. My role, is to encourage, lead, and point in the right direction, but ultimately, the bottom line belongs to them. Being aware of the rubric placed before them as a means of success and using that as a roadmap is a powerful key . Learning how and why people succeed or fail only serves to make me a better instructor.