EdTech 523 – Module 6 – Summary & Reflection

Summary

Synchronous Lesson Development

This term, I was lucky to have simply fantastic classmates to work with. I connected with Susi from the the get-go and it was nice to get to work with her once more on this final project.

We both teach adults online and decided to teach a lesson on a few different aspects of the learning management systems that we each work in. It was a good topic for any teacher working in either Moodle or Desire2Learn. Susi covered grading of quizzes and discussions in Desire2Learn. She did a great job of putting together some strategic screenshots in lieu of being able to do a live demo of D2L, and since i don’t currently have any students, I was able to put together a live demo of some of the neater aspects of quizzes and discussions in Moodle.

Here are the slides I put together. Susi built our introductory slides covering our strategy that we used for the lesson: “Virtual Training Labs.”

Virtual training labs centers around hands-on experience and demonstration. The idea was to talk to the students about doing a couple of tasks and then we would send them off to a lab setting that we have set up and have them execute the tasks that we’ve asked of them. The time limit wound up being about 45 minutes and we stated that in that time, we would be available to help them with their projects. For an idea of exactly how my portion of the presentation went, I’m pasting my “script.” I know that I didn’t come across very loudly.

Project script – Sarah

Most of you are familiar with Moodle from the student’s standpoint and you’ve even had some exposure to the instructor side, if you used Moodle as your LMS in either EdTech 522 or 512. I’m going to show you a couple of different things that are kind of neat about the discussion and quiz features in Moodle.
When you are setting up a discussion forum, there are a couple of different ways to affect the layout. The first is when you initially build your forum, and you can choose from several forum types. I like the to use the default forum type, but you can explore the others and pick the one that suits you best.
Another way that you can change the layout of your discussion forum is by looking at the discussion forum once it has been created. Here you can use the drop-down menu to select different layouts of your topics/ replies. Again, choosing one of these will depend a lot on your preference and what you think students would prefer to look at.
Next, we’ll talk a little about quizzes – the varieties of questions available and how to set up a quiz of a different length for a particular student.
When you are creating a new quiz in Moodle, there are several different question types that you can use, from multiple choice to essay to mathematical calculation. This makes the Moodle LMS an ideal home for online classes or web-based components of classes in many different subject areas.
Once you have created a quiz in Moodle and if you have student with disability documentation that requires more time to complete the quiz, you can enable this by setting group overrides. Group overrides aren’t available until you have changed the course settings to allow “separate groups.”
Once you’ve done that, you should create a group for the student or students that need extra time and in the settings for the quiz, choose Group Overrides and then “Add an override.” At this point, you can choose the group that you’ve placed the student or students in and click enable next to the time length.
Now that we’ve covered some of what we think are some neat features of quizzes and discussions in Moodle, we’d like to turn you loose. As we mentioned before, each of you should have access to a Moodle Sandbox. Your sandbox has already been set up to accommodate separate groups.
We would like you to take 15 or 20 minutes and create both a discussion forum and a quiz in Moodle. Choose a format and layout for the discussion that you like. Before creating the quiz, create one group for your class. Create the quiz and choose a couple different types of questions. Set up a group override to provide a longer amount of time for the group you created. Bring both projects back to the Adobe Connect room – we will give you screen sharing rights and you can show them off.
We practiced on our own, to begin with, and then we met in a “practice” adobe connect room to run through the presentation a couple more times. i don’t know if we put in as much preparation time as other people, but I do think our content was interesting and that we appropriately used the learning strategy.
Text
The final portion of the book contains many different resources for online teaching, including the companion site for the book, maintained by the author. The companion site includes a list of resources that has links to online conferences and list-servs. Now I know how I’m going to be spending my time, this summer, once I find a full-time job and get done with school.
Reflection
We were asked to put together an assessment tool for synchronous online lessons and grade a couple of sample presentations. My tool didn’t work very well if the lesson wasn’t completed in Adobe Connect or if there were a lot of technical difficulties.
Obviously this tool is going to look different from an assessment tool for a traditional classroom, but ultimately you’re assessing the use of a tool. If you use a rubric with a point system, then diction and poise might be something that has a greater weight than when you’re assessing a synchronous online less. On the other hand, technical expertise might hold greater weight on the online session.
The strategies for a F2F session are going to look different – rather than virtual labs, you’ll probably have real labs to evaluate. Rather than breakout rooms, students might have small group discussions. So much depends on the instructor and what they’re willing to try out.
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