Final post

Summing up the the Instrucational Design Essentials:

Evaluating journals/articles – comparing scholarly vs popular journals/materials

Applying the backward design, the learning outcomes will be the following

Overarching goal : Finding criterias in order to evaluate if a journal/article is academic or not

  • Using the library homepage and the a-z list in order to find a journal
  • Develop evaluating critera in order to distinguish a popular vs a scholarly journal/article.
  • Apply the developped criterias in order to highlight the differences between the two found articles.

I will measure the learning outcome by setting up the following scale.

  • Ok: Finding two criteria
  • Good : Finding three criteria
  • Excellent : Finding four criteria and explaining well the four criteria

Take into account situational factors such as that students might have heard about evaluating resources and finding journal articles via the library web page. Ask those students to teach other students to teach what they know or guide the less knowledgeable/experienced students.

Technology used is the instructor workstation and a big screen. Students use their own laptops to work in pairs or computers in the class room.

Taking a mainly constructiviste approach, I will design the instruction the following way:

  • I would like students (working in pairs on one computer) to dive into the AUP Library homepage themselves and search for a specific article (about shopping in the Nov 2013 issue) in the following popular journal (‘Psychology Today’).
    • Using the library homepage and the a-z list in order to find a journal 
  • Ask a student pair to show how they found the article on the instructor screen/computer.
  • Ask the other students if there is another way of finding the article and what they would do differently (peer assessment + ‘fish bowl’ approach)
  • In a next step, I would ask students (in pairs) to describe the journal and ask if they believe if this is a academic journal or a popular journals and justify their choice. Ask students to use post-it notes and stick their criteria to the journal title page (including their names)
    • Develop evaluating critera in order to distinguish a popular vs a scholarly journal/article.
  • Let students find a definition of popular journals on the library homepage and ask them to share their search result with everybody
  • The article in ‘Pysychology Today’ refers to a study in the ‘Journal of Consumer Research’ by Peter Rieks.
  • Ask students to find this article via the library homepage and compare the two articles.
    • Apply the developped criterias in order to highlight the differences between the two found articles. 
  • Assess students performances according to the scale above
  • Opening up the discussion to current newspaper articles or webpages students use in order to apply the developped criteria to ‘real world’ discussions

Give immediate feedback to students when they share their search results (pair-share exercises) in order to apply the idea of formative assessment. Motivate and engage student by taking over the instructor computer to teach the peers what they know.

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Week 4 – Effectively Using Technology

Read the How to Choose the Best Ed-Tech Tools article and skim/review the appropriate NMC Horizon Report for your institution (i.e. Library, Higher Ed, K-12, or Museum) and think about your final project for this course. In a new blog post, answer the following: What technologies (and these can be old, new, or emerging) might be most appropriate for your final project? Does your final project align with any of the trends represented in the Horizon Report you reviewed? Now answer the first two questions posed in Consider section of the 5-Step Ed-Tech Integration Model from the How to Choose article.

Thinking about my final project, I am not sure to use any kind of new technology to support my teaching.

I might think about using blogs for a semester long course as a kind of research log blog as one of my leanring goals in our Freshman expereince seminar is to create a learning community. Peer endorsement can help to achieve this learning goal. Besides, from a general education perspective, I am keen on the idea to give feedback and Freshman students should learn this as well. The peer endorsement is one way of achieving this + students learn from each other which I like a lot and is another central idea of our freshman experience.

For more details about AUP’s Frshman experience (First Bridge), follow the link https://www.aup.edu/academics/undergraduate/general-education/firstbridge

Another important aspect of teaching is getting students involved and creating an interactive classroom. Taking a constructiviste approach and thinking about getting student’s attention, I might use clickers or software’s such as polleverywhere.com or socrative.com to engage students.

It does not seeem that my technology use is not aligning with any trends of the Horizon Report. Skimming the Horizon Report, I acknowledge the discussion on games&gamification or the mobile trend which are in a way ‘buzz words’ at the moment, but I am not sure if both trends will have the impact as described by the Horizon Report. I might, for the fun of students, use shazam or soundhound within a library exercise to make them reflect on what search engines are and how they work.

Looking at the section of the 5-Step Ed-Tech Integration Model from the How to Choose article, a conversation with a faculty member that I had yesterday comes to mind. We talked about how to get the attention of the students after my library session in the afternoon. We said that it is a tough enterpresie to catch the students attention after they already had two classes during the day and otivate them to pay attention what is said during the library session. Besides, they do not have an immediate paper to write which is due only in 2 month. This conversation recalled me that the teachable moment and the embeddedness of library instruction adds more to the motivation and attention of the student sto the learning content. Put otherwise, I can look at the 5-Step Ed-Tech Interation Model but without attention and motivation, the students will not connect to the teaching. 

Week 3 – learning theories – part 2

Write a brief post addressing how you are going to motivate your learners/students, and align your response with the information drawn from Small’s article on motivation.
For this class, we expect that the majority of you are intrinsically motivated to complete this course. Your enrollment was of course optional, and you are likely doing this for reasons that are important to you. We’ve added in a few extrinsic motivators as well (e.g. blog posts viewable by your coursemates, a certificate of completion).

The Small article is bringing up interesting aspects with regard to motivation that I had not heard so far – especially the ARCS model and the time continium model.

In general, I have a few basic ideas how to get my students engaged. By engagement, I believe that I get their attention. If then students turn into motivated researchers is an other question, I believe.*

  • I try to make them feel comfortable by talking to them about their studies when they walk into the classroom. This happens before the class starts. Once the class starts, I do not start right away by outline the class session’s goals. First, I ask questions such as who has been to the library etc in order to know what they know and to get to know them. A day-to-day conversation to get started.
  • Then, I outline what I want them to achieve during this class session. In general, I do have three big items that I write on the white board and explain in a couple of words.
  • I tie the learning goals then to the bigger picture of their classes and a specific assignment (if given by the professor which I underline in every conversation about and request for a library session) or at least a topic which is discussed in class at the moment.
  • What I like is task that are ‘easy’ to research. I think that it is important for the students to see that they can have success when they search for academic iformation in the library. Of course, ther eis the danger that they believe that research is easy but it is then up to me to challene them as we go further in research;
  • In general, I give feedback on activities and comments they do by affirming their actions or comments, however there is no grading in those sessions and/or real feedback on research projects (written or individualized feedback).
  • At the end of the session, I invite all students to contact me by email or by stopping by in the library of they need help.

Wrting the lines above, I am telling myself that I would like to integrate more aspects of recognition into my teaching and the student’s learning in order to motivate them.

While reading the Small article, I had a few thoughts that crossed my mind and I wondered how other librarians would see this:

  • Many times in the library literature, I hear librarians talk to students about the detective role they should play while doing research (see Small article p.7). I am asking myself if we do not ‘miss’ our target audience – the students – who are in a moment of growing up from childhood to become an adult. It sounds to me a little bit infantalising them and I am not sure if this is helpful in this situation. Maybe I am wrong here. Let me know what you think.
  • Another aspect I remember for good motivation is that one student said in the past, that the topic was boring but the professor and her enthusiasm motivated him so much to get started with research on the topic. The Small article discusses this aspect not too much if I have read it carefully.
  • As well the importance of being connected to somebody as Parker Palmer is saying in his book ‘Courage to teach’. Once you have access to the students, they listen and follow you as the instructor or guide of the class session/workshop. Maybe this is less of a motivational factor but more as a pre-motivational factor that influences teaching and learning?
  • Then, I thought about the fact that many students come in with different levels of knowledge and motivation and how to handle this; it is then also a question of a group dynamic that is important to get students motivated? This question leads me to the question of the Small article is not too much focused on the individual and motivation?

* I prefer to say engaged than motivated. I am not sure why but it seems to me that given the fact that I believe that – in the first place – many students come to university because they have to get a degree .

Week 3 – learning theories – part 1

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In your blog, discuss which theory/ies might be most applicable to your instruction and outline a specific activity/assignment/exercise that would facilitate learning according to that theory. Outline, design, or wireframe that activity in a way that  makes sense to you so you will be able to design it more in depth when you have time. Post all of this in your blog.
PowerPoint works great for developing wireframes; use anything that is quick and easy and don’t try to make it pretty!

My approach to instruction is most likely a mix of all theories mentioned with the tendency to push for a constructiviste approach. I like students to dive into the research right away and understand and develop meaning after they have done things (see the introduction of Cooperstein/Weidinger article).

An activity that I had students do is to compare the way how results of research is presented in a scholarly journal and a popular magazine. In the beginning, I would ask students to search in pairs for an article in ‘psychology today’ on shopping (Nov 2013). We would discuss the form and the content of the little article qualifying the article as not academic.

The article is based on a study that has been published in an other journal and in a next step, I let students find this article via the library homepage (in twos). After finding the study, I ask the students (in twos) to compare both articles (find out how the present the data of the research).

I have one student using the white board to write down the criterias that the class brings forward to distinguish the scholarly article from the popular article.

In general, I do ask one pair of students to use the instructor computer to show everybody how they found an article or how they use the library webpage to find information. I ask questions such as if there is a different way of searching or I point out a few things that might be important to know such as the federated search.

Instructional Design Blog Post #2 – part 2

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1. Situational Factors Assuming you have done a careful, thorough job of reviewing the situational factors, how well are these factors reflected in the decisions you made about learning goals, feedback and assessment, learning activities?

Those factors are not taken into account with regard to learning goals. However, feedback and assessment can be done easily in form of a discussion or one-minute papers. Feedback can be instant. The learning activities, such as the think-pair-share, fishbowl, post-it exercises, are feasible.

What potential conflicts can you identify that may cause problems?

Situational problems can arise from the characteristics of the learners, the teacher, the subject. Students can see the library session as boring and/or ‘the famous trouble maker’ in the class who does not listen and acts out; there can be an issue between the teacher and the class in a way that there is not a connectedness in terms of Palmer Parkers book ‘Courage to teach’ or the topic such as MLA is boring to students and teachers do not know who to present it in an interesting way.

Are there any disconnects between your beliefs and values, the student characteristics, the specific or general context, or the nature of the subject in relation to the way you propose to run the course?

I belief that there are no disconnects between the beliefs and values as both sides base their interaction on respect and the idea to be here or education and free thinking. The economic situation of some of our students might lead to a kind of ‘why should I listen’ attitude but this might be the case for any student who comes to university because they have the feeling that they have to go to university. There is this obligation that students sometimes feel when it comes to education. Once students understand that it is their choice, their education, their attitude is different and the professor and the student are on the same page.

Maybe sometimes students expect a class to be a lecture but the interactive teaching style has not been a problem so far.

2. Learning Goals and Feedback & Assessment Issues to address include: How well do your assessment procedures address the full range of learning goals?

So far, I do not a lot of assessment. The one minute papers, quizzes are not frequent and we do not have the chance to give direct feedback to students. In a way, the educative assessment is losing here.

Sometimes, we do annotated bibliographies and in the past, we did some feedback session in the follow up sessions. Three to four students looked together at the annotated bibliographies and gave direct feedback to the each other. This worked somehow out but some students did not hear/accept the criticism on their annotations. The attitude was not helpful.

Is the feedback giving students information about all the learning goals?

No, not really as all learning goals are not clearly stated. Once they are clearly spelled out, assessment can pick up the issue. And yet, I have trouble spelling out learning goals such as critical thinking or creative thinking. Both terms come up over and over again in the discussion but both terms are – in my opinion – not easily measurable. In a way, it is like the IQ test. How can you measure/assess intelligence?

Do the learning goals include helping the students learn how to assess their own performance?

I have not thought about this before reading the Fink article. It is true that one learning goal is to learn how to self-assess your own performance. Still, where d you start; Is the simple question : ‘what do you think about your annotated bibliography?’ sufficient? ‘could you have done better?’. What are criteria and standards, maybe rubrics, that can guide one’s self-assessment giving the self-assessment this dimension of the other, the third position, the meta-position that looks at one’s performance from a more neutral perspective.

3. Learning Goals and Teaching/Learning Activities Do the learning activities effectively support all your learning goals?

Yes, I think so. They support the learning goals. However, the question is if the learning activities match with all the students learning style. If a visual learner has to read an article on how search engines work, the learning goal might not be effectively supported.

Are there extraneous activities that do not serve any major learning goal?

For our freshman experience, the first year student’s seminar, we go for a class diner and or do go with the professors on visits in Paris (i.e. Les Halles, Le Louvre). The learning goals with regard to research is then a bit neglected as it is more about the history, the content and not about the primary sources. The goal of the freshman diner is to get to know each other and to break the formal character of education. It should break the ice between the ‘sage on the stage’ and the students. Students should see their professors more as a person and professor should get a better understanding of the students. In a way, the diner can provide something very crucial to the class room: to be more engaged and to see the class room discussion as something important for the group; and being part of the group. A very civic notation, I would say, and finally a very important goal for society (‘you get the democracy that you deserve’).

4. Teaching/Learning Activities and Feedback & Assessment How well does the feedback loop work to prepare students for understanding the criteria and standards that will be used to assess their performance?

It does not work at the moment. For instance, we regularly conduct information literacy pre- and post-assessments (questionnaire with 10 closed questions) and we do not give feedback to students about their results. All other forms of assessments are punctual and the feedback is done is an unstructured way without linking them to their net assignment or task. The criteria and standards are poorly stated, in my opinion.

How well do the practice learning activities and the associated feedback opportunities prepare students for the eventual assessment activities?

I think that they prepare them well in the sense that the learning activities are ‘learning by doing’. Students are the one’s who do the work in the class room. They sit in the instructor chair (+ big instructor screen) to show the other students how to navigate the OPAC, where to find databases on the library webpage. It is one student who uses the white board to write down important facts for class mates. If then, they do not research as far as I wish them to do, it might be sometimes that the research assignment is not that demanding or the student believes that he or she has found already the best resources (even though there are still tons of others).

Instructional Design Blog Post #2 – part 1

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Procedures for Educative Assessment

Forward-Looking Assessment Formulate one or two ideas for forward-looking assessment. Identify a situation in which students are likely to use what they have learned, and try to replicate that situation with a question, problem, or issue.

I think that I would keep it to the student’s real work problems for the moment, They will have to write papers in the next semesters and I would asked them to imagine on how they would use today’s session to research on their senior thesis in their major. What types of sources will you use for your senior thesis? How and why would you choose those types of resources?

Criteria & Standards Select one of your main learning goals, and identify at least two criteria that would distinguish exceptional achievement from poor performance. Then write two or three levels of standards for each of these criteria.

One learning goal is to identify a leading journal in their field. A poor performance would be if the student fined a journal that has nothing to do with the subject. A good performance would be if the student presents a journal that covers the subject. If in the journal, some well-known authors in the academic field or the publisher would be a well-known figure, this would add to a good performance. The absence of well-known authors or publishers would lead to a poor performance.

I am not sure how to name my criteria here.

About the standards, the levels of journal reputation could be high, medium, and low – if this makes sense. Idem for the authors who are published in the journal.

Self-Assessment What opportunities can you create for students to engage in self-assessment of their performance?

I refer here to the appendix of the Fink article and the 7 principles of formative feedback. I would ask students when they hand in their assignment what kind of feedback they would appreciate. Self-assessment seems to me a bit abstract so far as I have not experienced it myself or read about it.

“FIDeLity” Feedback What procedures can you develop that will allow you to give students feedback that is:

Frequent

Immediate

Discriminating, i.e., based on clear criteria and standards

Lovingly delivered

FIDeLity Feedback could be formally integrated into the class sessions by using one-minute papers, and individual/collective three question quizzes or kind of instant question and response systems such as socartive.com

The one minute paper could be handed back in the next session and I could give quick feedback to each student. In a way, this is not always realistic as it takes lots of time to give feedback.

Short quizzes could be interesting as I could discuss the responses right away and students would get instant feedback on their replies. Besides, if in a think/pair/share situation students would come up with a response, they would already have discussed the replies before.

The discriminating aspect would come into the picture when the replies are explained. Say for example that I would ask students to find leading journals in an academic field, I will clearly set the standard between popular and scholarly, link to a university of reputation, well known authors, publisher etc. It almost sounds to me as a rubric that would be necessary to see for students what is a high ranking journal and what is not.

Lovingly delivered is – as far as I understand – is an attitude question of the professor toward the students. I believe that having good criteria and standards at hand, are always helpful to make your point leading to a respectful and constructive conversation. Reference sessions are about this, I believe: make the student feel comfortable and telling them what was good and bad.

Instructional Design Blog Post #1

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Step 1. Worksheet
SITUATIONAL FACTORS TO CONSIDER

For this instruction scenario, I refer to an EN 2020 one shot session last week.

1. Specific Context of the Teaching/Learning Situation

  1. How many students are in the class?
    1. 15
  2. Is the course lower division, upper division, or graduate level?
    1. En 2020, students are mostly sophomore or junior
  3. How long and frequent are the class meetings?
    1. Their regular class meeting 2x a week for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
    2. They will have one meeting with me for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  4. How will the course be delivered: live, online, or in a classroom or lab?
    1. In the library research room that is equipped with 8 workstations and 8 laptops
  5. What physical elements of the learning environment will affect the class?
    1. The maximum of students in the library research room is 16.
    2. Once there are more than 10 students in, space gets tight
    3. What happened last Monday was that half of the class walked in 30min late due to the fact that they did not know where the library is or they had forgotten that there was a library session
  1. General Context of the Learning Situation
  1. What learning expectations are placed on this course or curriculum by: the university, college and/or department? the profession? society?
    1. The professor expects the students to do academic research with regard to an assignment for the following session
    2. She wants the student to be aware of library resources
    3. She wants the student not to use websites
    4. She wants students to use MLA format
    5. The university expects that a graduate student knows how to express and write well – the education has to be of quality
    6. Society expects educated citizens

3. Nature of the subject

  1. Is this subject primarily theoretical, practical, or a combination?
    1. Theoretical
  2. Is the subject primarily convergent or divergent?
    1. Convergent
  3. Are there important changes or controversies occurring within the field?
    1. Everything is changing

I am not sure to have totally understood the question about theoretical or practical + convergent or divergent subject J

  1. Characteristics of the Learners
  1. What is the life situation of the learners (e.g., working, family, professional goals)?
    1. All students are full time students, either sophomore or junior standing
    2. The age group is 19-23
    3. Many times, students come from a wealthy economic background
    4. All of them have decided on their academic mayors but I am not sure to what extent they know what they will do after their undergraduate studies
  2. What prior knowledge, experiences, and initial feelings do students usually have about this subject?
    1. Students have written research papers already
    2. Basically, there are two groups of students – group one are students that started at AUP and took already three to four library session during their Freshman experience called “Frist Bridge”
    3. Group two are students who are either transfer students or part of a coop program with University of Washington – this group of students came in late to the one-shot session – they have not used the AUP library homepage so far but they have heard of JStor already
    4. The assignment is somehow clear to them; the good thing is that the professor is present during the one-shot session and clarifies the assignment and can answer questions
  3. What are their learning goals, expectations, and preferred learning styles?
    1. They want to get a good grade
    2. EN 2020 is part of a requirement that they have to take, so it is not really fun for them
    3. I am not sure if students at that age had already a conversation about what is their preferred learning style or in general a discussion on how to learn at university

5. Characteristics of the Teacher

  1. What beliefs and values does the teacher have about teaching and learning?
    1. I do not know – I hardly know her
    2. My own beliefs and values are : the class room is theirs; students should speak up and discussion should be in the center with regard to the subject that leads/centers the discussion
  2. What is his/her attitude toward: the subject? students?
    1. I do not know – I hardly know her
    2. My attitude to our students: this is a smart generation as all generations before and after us – it is about giving them the opportunity and to dare to voice what they think.
  3. What level of knowledge or familiarity does s/he have with this subject?
    1. She is an expert as far as I could see during the EN 2020.
    2. I did an MLIS four years ago and I know the AUP Library for 10years now
  4. What are his/her strengths in teaching?
    1. Maybe connecting with students and encouraging discussion but I do not know her too much. I have never attend a class session with her before
    2. I blieve my strenghts is in asking questions

Step 2. Worksheet

Questions for Formulating Significant Learning Goals

“A year (or more) after this course is over, I want and hope that students will have the ability to find useful, trustworthy information for whatever informational needs they have .”

Foundational Knowledge

  1. What key information (e.g., facts, terms, formulae, concepts, principles, relationships, etc.) is/are important for students to understand and remember in the future?
    1. Find, use, evaluate and look critically at information
    2. I want students to understand the idea of the deep web, how search engines work and where trustful places of information are
    3. I want them to understand that information is not ‘free’ today and that there are lots of political and economic issues out there
  2. What key ideas (or perspectives) are important for students to understand in this course?
    1. To understand that their professor will not accept websites (i.e. Wikipedia or sparknotes) for the assignment
    2. To understand that memory institutions such as libraries provide academic information
    3. That they can find good information on MLA online (purdue owl)
    4. That the document that they find has to be evaluated/looked at carefully (who is the author, is there a bias, are their references, where it is published, peer-reviewed, when was it published)

Application Goals

  1. What kinds of thinking are important for students to learn?
    1. Critical thinking, in which students analyze and evaluate
    2. Creative thinking, in which students imagine and create
    3. Practical thinking, in which students solve problems and make decisions
  2. What important skills do students need to gain?
    1. Research skills – define, find, select evaluate, use, information
  3. Do students need to learn how to manage complex projects?
    1. Yes, I think so. What is a ‘complex’ project?

Integration Goals

  1. What connections (similarities and interactions) should students recognize and make…:
    1. Among ideas within this course?
      1. Not sure …
    2. Among the information, ideas, and perspectives in this course and those in other courses or areas?
      1. You can look at one topic from different perspectives
      2. To focus and narrow questions to be as specific as possible in your answers
    3. Among material in this course and the students’ own personal, social, and/or work life?
      1. You can look at one topic from different perspectives
      2. The EN 2020 section should help them to express them clearly and focused in life
      3. The library session should remind them of trustful information places

Not sure if my answers make sense 🙂

Human Dimensions Goals

  1. What could or should students learn about themselves?
    1. They have a voice and they should start to learn to back it up with good arguments; information literacy is part of this process
  2. What could or should students learn about understanding others and/or interacting with them?
    1. There might be different ways of reaching the goal (concept of second best solution)
    2. Professors might learn from them
    3. Learning to listen to an argument and learn how to argue against it

Caring Goals

  1. What changes/values do you hope students will adopt?
    1. Understand that research is important – deep understanding
  2. Feelings?
    1. Deep understanding is gratification
  3. Interests?
    1. Go further
  4. Ideas?
    1. Dare new ideas

“Learning-How-to-Learn” Goals

  1. What would you like for students to learn about:
    1. how to be good students in a course like this?
      1. Is to start researching, getting feedback from the professor, have a conversation about the topic, getting engaged, and continue reading, researching and writing (with the help of others) – learning is not (only) about sitting alone in a corner
    2. how to learn about this particular subject?
      1. That it might be something specific but they should learn to link the particular to the general or/and other topics
    3. how to become a self-directed learner of this subject, i.e., having a learning agenda of what they need/want to learn, and a plan for learning it?
      1. YES : that it takes more than youtube videos and sparknotes to get a good understanding of a topic and to counter the information overload