Friday, July 13, 2018

Reading List

Online Teaching at Its Best, from Linda Nilson, director emerita of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness Innovation (OTEI) at Clemson University, and Ludwika Goodson, associate director of the Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at Purdue University Fort Wayne,
Article about this books

Reflection: Turning experience into learning – ‎Edited by David Boud, Rosemary Keogh, and David Walker; 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Questions: what are they good for?

A recent experience has caused me to revisit the notion of questions. This lead to many questions, of course.
  • Is asking questions good or bad? 
  • Should questioning be encouraged or discouraged? 
  • When people ask if there are any questions, do they really want them? 
  • If you believe in the value of questions are there things you can do to encourage questions? 
  • Are there ways to discourage questions? Is there an art to asking questions?
  • What does questioning have to do with learning and the way the brain works?
  • What apps might you use to facilitate the asking of questions? In other words, can we make asking questions easier?
Using questions is the basis of an active learning approach called inquiry-based learning.
There is actually a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios. It's called Inquiry-based Learning. As per Wikipedia, this is done instead of simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge.

Interesting resource from EdTechReview, "Check out How these Tools Embrace Inquiry-based Learning

As a learning strategy it is student eccentric and is all about learners constructing their own understanding and knowledge through asking questions. Inquiry involves learners in the following ways:
-- They tackle real-world questions, issues and controversies. 
-- Helps in developing questioning, research and communication skills. 
-- They eventually learn to solve problems or create solutions.
-- They know what collaborating within and beyond the classroom is.  
-- Developing deep understanding of content knowledge is routine for them.  
-- Participating in the public creation and improvement of ideas and knowledge is another hobby they inherit.

Essential Questions are part of an instructional design model called Backwards Design

McTighe, J & Wiggins, G (2013) "Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding" ASCD, Alexandria, VA

Grant Wiggins says "essential questions signal that we what inquiry, we want in depth not superficial answers. That there isn't one way to look at it. It's worth asking and reasking. Because that's how indepth learning and genuine understanding occurs. " video Essential Questions"

On page 87 indicate that essential questions leads to further questions. "In a very real sense, then, the question is the teacher. Until and unless the essential question is seen as the "teacher" a culture of inquiry has not yet been established."

"Socrates in Plato's "Dialogues" reminds us, to persist in asking the questions when others don't is the key to escaping the bounds of unthinking habit, belief and dogma. Once we have learned to question - really question - then we are immunized from falling victim to people who want us not to think too hard about what they say, be it politicians, advertisers, or bullying associates.

The Use of Questions is part of a management approach to problem solving and exploring cause and effect relationships called 5 Whys.
A series of questions are asked to help uncover the multiple root causes of what may seem at first to be a simple solution.  The focus is on looking for ways to improve the process not for blaming people. Below is a link to a video produced by the Harvard Business review, February 7, 2012. "The 5 Whys."

Questions are powerful

Interesting NPR piece "People Like People Who Ask Questions." A research study conducted at Harvard is studying the effect of asking questions in everyday conversations (Karen Huang, Franseca Gino and others) So far they have found that asking more questions increased how much the person liked them. Demonstrating that you are curious about another person was seen as positive.

Asking Questions of Ourselves

The Brain and Questions

Want To Know What Your Brain Does When It Hears A Question?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching

Book Discussion

Other resources related to this book.

Part 1: View a pre-recorded webinar by Dr. Ambrose discussing the book she and colleagues published: "How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching."
Part 2: Q&A with Dr. Ambrose in which she discusses how to apply the information presented in Part 1 to specific teaching contexts.
This webinar is a product of the Engineering Inclusive Teaching series funded under grant 1203164 by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How to Include Meaningful Interactivity within Live, Synchronous, Online Learning Sessions

When constrained by common adverse conditions(i.e., How can good old Classroom Assessment Techniques be used online when…)
  • Online meeting time is VERY LIMITED
    •  (e.g., Only 1 
    • or 2 sessions; 
    • “too much to cover”)
  • Learner and leader locations:
    • Learners are not in the same physical space as leader/facilitator/teacher but are all in the same room.
    • Learners and the leader are all in different locations.
    • The leader and some of the learners are in the same room and some learners are in other locations.
  • Cannot ensure that ALL the learners
    • will use Internet via the same combination of device, operating system, user interface, …
    • will be fully ready to use any single designated tool for online interactivity before the first session begins.
  • Internet access
  • The teacher can not see the participants.

Some lessons learned from other situations that have SOME similar characteristics and SOME significant differences
  • Have BOTH A "voice of the room" ( a person who serves as an interface between distant learner and group) AND a "voice of the vote" (a person who serves as a counter/summarizer of the results displayed visibly via some physical devices for voting (eg. thumbs up/down; 5 fingers; colored cards)
  • Determine the extent to which participants have the same devices, they know how to log into the device, updated flash, etc
  • Have a back-up plan or continuity plan such as record the event, email the participants, leverage TodaysMeet, Kehoot activity, scavenger hunt activity,
  • When meeting more than once, introduce something during session one that you will use in session #2)
  • Send a recording with instructions on how to log into the application prior to the event.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning

Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning by James M. Lang

I just started reading this book. My plan is to capture at least one idea from each chapter and incorporate immediately into my teaching.

Part 1: Knowledge
1. Retrieving. The idea here is that retrieval practice will help learners retain foundational material. Frequency matters, align practice and assessments and require thinking. The opening and closing of class are good places to add retrieval activities. 
I could close the training event with a short quiz or  solve a problem. I could also close the class by asking learners to write down the most important concept from today. 
Example of a problem. Your student needs to work online for 60 minutes during the week. How might you weave that time into your weekly schedule?

2. Predicting. Predictive activities prepare your mind for learning by driving you to make connections. Predictive exercises may also reveal gaps in our knowledge. Stay conceptual, provide fast feedback. Induce reflection. Curiosity.
Ideas. Begin the session with a pretest. When presenting a case or a problem, stop before the conclusion and ask the learner to predict the outcome.
Example: after reviewing the action tabs, ask participants how long they think it will take to check this information. After reviewing auto placement information ask participants to predict how long a 1st grader placed in level 2 will be asked to work online each week.

3. Interleaving. Spacing out learning sessions over time and mixing up your practice of skills you are seeking to develop.
If we used spaced learning to allow some time for forgetting to set in, we are forced to draw from our long-term memory when we return to it. A little forgetting has the effect of retriggering consolidation, further strengthening memory.
The time that intervenes between spaced learning sessions allows our mind to better organize and solidify what we are studying.

More to come.....