Friday, October 2, 2009

What do you want your students to learn in an online Course?

Addressing this topic is not an easy task. However; simply, teachers want students to learn everything in the course. As my course is addressing history and culture of Fulani people, generally, I want my students to demonstrate some knowledge about how historical and cultural elements impacting education. Current educational research encourages teachers to get to know each of their students in order to enhance their classroom performance, motivation, and desire to learn. Most teachers create activities and implement strategies that they hope will engage students in the content and promote a lifelong love of learning. I understand the importance of knowing and caring about each student and his or her learning needs. Also, I understand that all students learn differently, and that my course will address the diverse learning styles in the classroom.

Within my course of three units that I am designing and covering, what are the most accurate time and way to discover our students’ learning styles? I can use my own assessing tools (formative & summative) to assess my students and get to know their learning styles, such as tests, project assignments, personal interviews, surveys, questionnaires or even quizzes or I can use the pre-made assessing tools, like Kaleidoscope profile, if the course is for high school students as Kaleidoscope has two versions of assessment, One is covering grades 3-6 and the other one is covering grades 7-12.
The Kaleidoscope Profile is an all-inclusive assessment of learning styles, revealing each student’s sensory preferences, perceptual styles, organizational styles, and temperament. It’s another opportunity for teacher to get to know his/her students better and for them to get to know one another on a deeper level.

Discovering student learning styles benefits you as a teacher, as well as your students. Meanwhile, knowing my students learning styles helps me:-
• Create an environment that supports how they learn.
• Understand how learning can be fun.
• Discover how they learn best.

Every teacher has different ways to help motivate lower level- students to improve for example, teacher’s expectation is playing an important role to make students interact effectively with course and classroom activities, giving frequent, early, positive feedback that supports students' beliefs that they can do well, assigning tasks that are neither too easy nor too difficult, helping students find personal meaning and value in the material, creating an atmosphere that is open and positive, helping students feel that they are valued members of a learning community.

Since my course allows integrating technology while addressing different historical and cultural topics into teaching process, it makes the lessons more interesting, engaging and motivating to students simultaneously helps students to reach higher levels of thinking in synthesizing, analyzing and evaluating sensitive historical and cultural issues.

Research has also shown that good everyday teaching practices can do more to counter student apathy and weakness than special efforts to attack motivation directly (Ericksen, 1978).

Most students respond positively to a well-organized course taught by an enthusiastic teacher who has a genuine interest in students and what they learn. Thus activities you undertake to promote learning will also enhance students' motivation.

Bloom taxonomy is like Ibrahim Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. A learner can not go up the hierarchy, unless all the biological needs are being met. So Bloom’s Taxonomy is starting from knowledge and ending by evaluation to know the learning objectives have been realized. Also I can use the assessing tools that I have already set to know my students’ outcomes.

Part Two
Robert Gagne’s theory of instruction has provided a great number of valuable ideas to instructional design, trainers and teachers. I will be integrating some technological tools to gain my students’ attention, such as PowerPoint slides, video and still pictures. My online course is on History and culture consists of three units. The learning objectives will be listed under each unit and by the end the students will be able to:
• Demonstrate an understanding of various cultures & historical events in the world through knowledge gained about their countries.
• An understanding of current historical events and cultural issues impacting education.
• Describe at least two major social/cultural problems of 21st century Sudan.
Material will be chunked into sections in two text books required for reading and assignments in addition to other two recommended books for further reading on specific topics as guidance for assignment. Learning will be facilitated by giving students some cues related to their own history & cultures to help them compare or discuss historical and cultural issues. Students will be easily tapped into prior knowledge by talking about their own historical and cultural elements and features to lead them to explore new knowledge. Thus, also motivates students to participate in different activities to improve their achievement. Students will be working in groups in the classroom and at homes as well as individual assignments to be accomplished by the end of the course. Students will gain skills that help them to deal, analyze and evaluate historical and cultural issues to settle conflicts that might occur in their communities. Different assessing tools such as formative assessment for ongoing activities and summative assessment for final course exam with quick feedback will be used to check and evaluate students’ performance and competency, as well as rubric will be used on the final course project as an extra work for extra credits, based on five criteria:- content, organization, relevance, creativity and presentation.
Date Modified: 26 Aug 09 3:59 PM MST

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I am working with Defense Language Institute at Monterey Bay. I have received my education in Sudan, Yemen and America. I have got MA in educational technology, 2010 at Chapman university, Monterey City California and Post master at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (UNCG). in 2004and MBA in Sudan in 1998. I got American citizenship in August 2008. I am married; I have five children , two in college and one in high school.Suheil still early grade one and Suheib is a baby of three years old, playing at home. My email address is Phone number is 8312246829.