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Reflective Essay

Reflective Essay II
by Linda L. Tavares April 14, 2012

Professor Sponder University of Maryland University College

Linda L. Tavares

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Reflective Essay
In order to properly evaluate any Wiki Workshop Support Site it was important to determine which e-learning principles I would be expecting to see as learned from reading ELearning and the Science of Instruction, written by authors Ruth Clark and Richard Mayer. While keeping these principles in mind I visited each site to examine which principles had been incorporated into the workshops lessons and into the design of the Wiki pages themselves, including typographical features. I was looking for each site to apply some elements of multimedia, contiguity, modality, redundancy, coherence, and/or segmenting principles. The active workshop day should include a lesson with well structured tasks or guidelines which transition from examples to practice through fading (Clark & Mayer, 2011). Next, I was seeking evidence that I could successfully complete the projects active-day assignment tasks and satisfy the requirements outlined in the lesson objectives. I wanted to see lessons transition from full worked examples to full practice assignments, using fading-worked example principle or explanations to worked out steps in some situationsGuidance Principle (Clark & Mayer, 2011). Finally, for the workshops active day survey, I wanted to see questions which related to the task, how successfully resources were used, and how strong the chosen technology would be in the support of my own classroom. For the evaluation of the Wiki Workshop as a whole, I wanted to see questions which provided an opportunity for appropriate feedback relating to the workshop. Here I will evaluate two Wiki Workshop Sites. Instructor A: Google Docs. When I visited this Wiki Workshop created by the first instructor, I read through the introduction, which I felt was very thoroughly explained and nicely detailed as were the DTTP lesson and the Syllabus. On Day 1 (Active) the lesson plan was presented as a link to a document.

Linda L. Tavares

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Reflective Essay
The documents four objectives explain that as a student I would learn to: Use Google Docs to foster collaboration between students, parents and teachers. Identify ways in which you can incorporate Google Docs into your classroom. Create activities, lessons, projects, and class set ups that ensure collaboration between students. Demonstrate how to use these tools by simulating a classroom with your colleagues. On day one I am immediately given an assignment (prompt 1) to complete a Syllabus Scavenger Hunt Questionnaire by clicking on a link, completing the form, taking a print screen and then emailing the screen directly to her, demonstrating I completed this assignment. I noticed the first link did not work and I was forced to visit the resource page to find a working link. Next, I didnt understand how this activity related to the objectives of the lesson. I was confused by her request to email the assignment to her as though she were going to assign to me a grade for its completion. Instead, I completed the Scavenger Hunt and added the screenshot to the prompt 1 section. Prompt 2 asked that I create a Voki Avatar introducing myself to the class and post this to the Introductions Workshop page, which was done without difficulties. Prompt 3 asked that I click on a link to a KWL Chart with the promise I would use the chart for personal reflection. I did not understand this part of Active Day 1. Prompt 4 asked that I upload a PowerPoint presentation to Google docs and again, email the final product to the instructor. Prompt 5 was a Discussion Area where I was asked to click on a link and post my thoughts explaining how to use Google Docs in my own classroom. The link did not allow me to add a comment and I could not take part in this activity. Prompt 6 was a grade level breakout session where I was asked to create a lesson incorporating Google Docs and post my group activity to the wiki space.

Linda L. Tavares

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Reflective Essay
As for lessons, the instructor included a nice Screen Cast presentation she created of a Voki tutorial. The second Google Docs Videos and Tutorials was a Screen Cast created by the instructor that shows how to create an account at Gmail. This was very thoroughly explained and well done. The next Screen Cast shows how to upload a document to Google Docs which the instructor created and was also nicely done. Three Youtube videos were included which were not created by the instructor but contained useful information about how to use Google docs in the classroom and a Google Docs introduction. Overall, this workshop did not adhere to typographical requirements in that the text varied in size with no consistency in spacing between prompts and video tutorials. With the inclusion of the Screen Cast presentation I did see the multimedia principle: use words and graphics rather than words alone and also the modality principle: presenting words as audio narration rather than on-screen text (Clark p. 3). There was not a survey questionnaire relating to the activities and lessons on the Active Workshop Day, but there was an overall course evaluation which consisted of ten questions. Each of the questions required a written response instead of possible multiple choice or true/false kinds of questions. I felt some of the questions could have been stronger and provide for more constructive answers, but overall I feel they were sound. I saw no reference page on this Wiki Workshop Site. Instructor B: Integrating Technology into the Curriculum and Instruction. The workshop creator used an embedded avatar on each workshop page outlining what our objectives are for each day. He provided a list of eighteen topics as prerequisite knowledge we would need to have to be successful with this workshop of which I felt not all were necessary. The objective was to design, implement and assess a learning experience that incorporate the use of technology in a

Linda L. Tavares

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Reflective Essay
curriculum-related instructional activity to support understanding, inquiry, problem-solving, communication or collaboration. I believe this objective to be more like a goal because it is stated in a vague and general fashion and I cannot tell from reading it what specific outcome is expected. Embedded under the tasks were many links to documents which were worksheets intended to assist with the kinds of social studies research needed to be done (six in all). Also included on the Active Day 5 are two embedded audio files which explain Maryland Cores Learning Goals for English. This confused me since the entire workshop centers around the Maryland Health or Social Studies Curriculums. The task for this workshop was to create a lesson, with a content objective from my Health or Social Studies Curriculum Guide. I chose Social Studies and the History of the Underground Railroad. The completed task needed to show evidence that three sites were used as resources, site those sources, link to outside sourced, and use assistive technology. We were to present our lesson to our classes and then return to the Wiki Workshop site to reflect on the lesson implementation. Listed under prerequisite knowledge was the site Edmodo. I decided to create an educational Web Quest concerning the Underground Railroad. I included many links to outside sources including videos, primary resources and an interactive presentation which allows students to take part in a knowledge gaining, virtual adventure as a slave trying to get from the South to the North on the Underground Railroad. I felt these elements met the requirements of the objective. I used the collaborative website Edmodo.com and placed the Web Quest on this site. I took a screen capture of the site and posted it on the Active Day 5 to demonstrate my learning. On the Active Day 5 of this workshop, typographical standards were not consistently followed in that the type was a) very small and b) inconsistent in size. I did not feel the objectives were clear and the lesson expectations left me unsure of what lesson I was to learn.

Linda L. Tavares

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Reflective Essay
Since he mentioned Edmodo in the list of prerequisites I concluded I should choose Edmodo, Pixie3, Kidspiration/Inspiration (which I do not have access to), or one of the others listed. With the Voki Avatar on the page, I saw evidence of applying the multimedia principle: using words and graphics rather than words alone (Clark & Mayer, 2011). The Voki explained our task in an abbreviated form. I also saw evidence of the coherence principle because the workshop pages did not contain distracting graphics and stories or irrelevant audio. As for the survey, I did not see a survey for the Active Day. There was a Workshop Evaluation Questionnaire page. The questions on this page were confusing at times. For instance, question two asks Where was the workshop held? I also did not understand the amount of personal questions like What is your name? and The pace of this workshop was appropriate. We were asked to answer these questions by choosing 1 through 5 without an explanation of the numbers so I was not sure if 1 meant the best or the worst. I understand the Wiki Workshop presenters were not necessarily teaching technology to us with step-by-step instructions but I felt like there should have been some examples of what the end product should look like for successful task completion. I was hoping to see Power Point presentations which demonstrated sound e-learning principles as learned in class. Adding this skill would have improved my overall experience. Including more rationales and explanations for why using the kinds of technologies being presented in the workshops could be useful to me in my lessons would have been helpful. Instead I was asked to explain to the instructor why they were useful. Adding these skills and information would have improved my overall experience with these Wiki Workshop Sites.

Linda L. Tavares

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Reflective Essay
References Clark, C.C. and Mayer, R.E. (2011). E-learning and the science of instruction.(third ed). San Francisco ca. Pfeiffer

Linda L. Tavares

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