Week 3 Readings

Week 3 Readings

When signed in as the administrator I can’t add a comment to my own post, so here are my thoughts on this weeks readings:

Overwhelming would be one word to describe this week!  I learned a significant amount about the role culture plays in course design and development, and to be quite honest in the particular course I am designing (transition course for new sergeants), I hadn’t really considered the role culture would play.

My first reading was Dr. Khalsa’s study on Multicultural E-Learning Teamwork, and immediately I began to think about ways I could utilize some of the data in developing E-Learning teams in my course.  More specifically, my course is designed for newly promoted sergeants, and a key role they will play is that of a team leader.  That being said, the new sergeants will have to understand the cultural backgrounds of their employees, devise a plan to motivate them, respect their views, develop effective communications with them, and provide effective leadership.  Many of the same suggestions for developing teams provided by Dr. Khalsa can be easily translated into my course development, and by design I would like to place the students in a position of having to function as a team so that they begin to understand the dynamics, after all, they will have to lead one.

As a whole, when I read Dr. Khalsa’s study, and quite frankly, much of the readings from this week, I thought about “learner characteristics”, the Analysis portion of course design that requires the designer to take a close look at the type of students he/she may see in the class and offer a common design which supports the learning group.  Though my course focuses on newly promoted sergeants, we can never forget that cultural issues certainly affect work performance, as indicated by a study conducted by Geert Hofstede often cited in our readings (http://geert-hofstede.com/national-culture.html).

For me, R.I.T. Online Learning was a very helpful website since it is a fairly straight-forward, easy to understand guideline that addresses characteristics and guidelines for course design and facilitation.  There are many different dynamics from adult vs. youth learners, and this site made it fairly easy for me.  Reading study after study can sometimes confuse the reader to the point the message gets lost in the data, and this one really helped to refocus general development guidelines.

In reading the “Meaning of Culture in Online Education” I found lots of useful information about the role culture plays in the online community.  As the chapter suggests, online learning is outpacing the traditional “brick and mortar” environment.  Inside a classroom, you have the ability to see immediate reaction (good or bad) from the learning material.  With online learning, it takes careful design so that you address the sometimes very sensitive areas for students.  What I really liked about this chapter was the easy to understand principles for teachers, students, and designers.  Adding some questions in the principles helped me frame it so that I really consider some of those background issues in my course development.

References:

Khalsa, D.K. (2010). Multicultural e-Learning Teamwork: Social and cultural characteristics and influences. As found in Pullen, D. & Cole, D. (Eds). Multiliteracies and technology enhanced education: Social practice and the global classroom. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. pps. 254-270.

R.I.T. http://online.rit.edu/faculty/teaching_strategies/adult_learners.cfm

Kinasevych, O. (2010). The Effect of Culture on Online Learning. In F. Sudweeks, H. Hrachovec, & C. Ess (Eds.), Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Cultural Attitudes Towards Technology and Communication (pp. 420-427). Presented at the Cultural Attitudes Towards Communication and Technology 2010, Vancouver: Murdoch University.

Week 3 Readings

I posted this in the BB discussion board:
 
Like Maryalice and Tish, I found RIT’s Adult Learners page to be a useful resource and personally interesting. I have decided to change the focus of my final MS-OTL project from a math course for 6th grade students to a professional development course for California teachers starting to integrate Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into their teaching. That said, I am having to work hard to shift my thinking to designing an online course for adult learners instead of middle schoolers! I am aiming to fill a need for CCSS professional development with my course, hoping that CA teachers will be “seek[ing] education that relates… directly to their perceived needs, that is timely and appropriate for their current lives”. Additionally, I am hoping my course will offer solutions for transition from CA state standards for CCSS in the next few school years.In the discussion of teaching strategies for adult learners, I had an “aha” when RIT included the importance of clarifying students’ expectations of the course. Student expectations are at the heart of professional development courses, as the majority of teachers are seeking instruction to better their teaching. As I design my course, I will need to think like both an online teacher AND a classroom teacher to anticipate CA teachers’ expectations.My deep thought for the day is this (I apologize in advance for thinking “out loud” and confusing anybody…): here I have this great idea for a professional development course, but since CCSS has not been fully implemented yet, I can’t very well design a “how-to” course, as stated to be the preference of adult learners. Even though RIT claims that adult learners do not prefer survey courses, I feel like my course may have to be a survey course to introduce teachers to what exactly CCSS looks like, sounds like, and MAY look like in the classroom. Over time, I suppose the course could develop into a “how-to” course… I guess here’s the discussion question: is it possible to create meaningful online community discussion about something so new (CCSS) that teachers do not have experience with yet? Or, in a survey course with objective information (this may also apply to you, Tish, with your algebra class), how do we best build community? Posted by Christine
 

Tish’s Week 3 Reading

Ok, here is my article and this is the 3rd time I have tried to post. I am so sorry, I am not in the game this week. I am in New Orleans at Bb World Conference and it is a great conference, but the Internet connections are really bad. My hotel is having problems also.

Online learners: Characteristics & strategies with notes on teaching, learning and thinking styles
http://online.rit.edu/faculty/teaching_strategies/adult_learners.cfm
My project course Beginning College Algebra will have a diverse age range of students. The average age of the student will be 24 but the age range of the students will be from 18 to 50 and sometimes older. The article divides the student population into two groups called adults and youth learners and identifies their learning style and gives suggestive teaching strategies that apply to each group. It also states that no one model is the end all answer to every situation. The article states that for a course to be an effective learning environment for an adult learner the instructor needs to maintain a balance of “learner-centered” activities and to be aware of the number of “presentation of new material and its applications, and discussion and participation among students.” These strategies are bases on . . . “adult learners usually approach learning differently than younger learners:
• they are more self-guided in their learning
• they bring more, and expect to bring more, to a learning situation because of their wider experience – and can take more away
• they require learning “to make sense” – they will not perform a learning activity just because the instructor said to do it “
Another concept this article bring to light is the way students think. Sometimes that is combined with learning styles but this was a nice reminder that they can be different.
The collaboration link http://online.rit.edu/faculty/teaching_strategies/collaborative_learning/index.cfm of the article has a list of all benefits on online collaboration. It gives strategies on how to create a group, how to make it an effective learning activity, and how to assess the group either as a whole or as individuals.

And now for the questions for the class that I added:

So now the questions begin: Maryalice has started a good list of questions to think about,
Here is her question . . . ” question is: knowing what makes each side “tick” (examples: problem-centered adults vs. subject-centered youth; results-oriented adults vs. future-oriented youth; and self-directed adults vs. adult-dependent youth), how do we best insure success for the individual adult learners in our online programs?”

but in my group of students is a mix and the instructor has to handle this diversity. I am asking how would you handle some of the different suggestions of the teaching strategies and if you think collaboration can truly work for a math course of this level?

It is get to learn together,

Tish

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