With an online, asynchronous course, it’s a bit difficult to determine how things are going in the first week…particularly given the design format I use. I teach seven, two-week modules in a semester and each module allows for 10 days of content acquisition and demonstration of learning, while the last four days focus on peer interaction and feedback around student demonstration of learning. That said, I do build in formative assessments using Voicethread and Google Forms and I communicate with the students frequently using both the Muddiest Point discussion board and emailed announcements.
I Prepare for Student Work, Customize for Student Engagement, and Plan for Classroom Content, Structures, and Systems that Work Appropriately for Students
Each module in my course contains five basic sections: Introduction, Objectives, Required Materials, Assignments, and Supplemental Resources. The Sound Cloud audio Introduction provides students with both a framework for the module and ensures they understand why it is relevant to both the course and their learning (the “so what” factor). The module-level objectives make clear the desired learning outcomes and are mapped to the course-level Student Learning Outcomes. The Required Materials indicate where a material is required or if there is choice, while the Assignments section provides a list of items that must be completed with their due dates. Finally, the Supplemental Resources section contains all of the materials I deem fall into the “would be nice, but not necessary, to know” category.
For content acquisition in this module, I provided a brief video closed-captioned introducing the Relationship of Learning Objective, Assessments, and Instructional Strategies, a short text-based description of rubrics, and a video on Formative and Summative Assessment. Students are asked to read a few sections in their textbooks and skim two supplemental resources. They are also required to do a resource exploration, selecting two resources relating to their particular interests in assessment; they share these sources, and a brief description, in the Resource Share discussion board. To complete a formative assessment of their understanding, students complete a Check for Understanding on an embedded Google Form. Students draft and submit answers and then are able to see peer responses; at this time, they are asked to reflect on the culmination of their learning and post any questions they still have to the Muddiest Point. Finally, the Assignments section instructs students to create a 3-5 minute audio or video presentation, using the technology tool of their choice, that they will post to Voicethread for peer and instructor comment and review. They will also complete the Stage 2: Desired Results section of their Course Development Plan and have the option to submit it for feedback prior to the final submission in the next module. Students who submit their plan for feedback must provide feedback to their peers who post.
Evidence I Participated in and Contributed to Individual Paths for Learning
At this time, I’ve provided a variety of ways to access resources and choice in content acquisition materials, where possible. I created means for both formative and summative assessment within the module. On Monday, I announced the opening of the module and that the discussion board format would occur in the form of a presentation. I reminded them that they could seek assistance or post questions by using the Muddiest Point. Midway through the week, I let them know that I provided extensive feedback on their initial submission of the Course Development Plan and that I created a discussion board post in the Muddiest Point to address questions they raised and common issues I saw in their submissions.
I Use Data from Observation and/or Surveys to Inform the Unit
Much of my design of this module was informed by student surveys from last semester. I converted the Introductions from text-based sections to audio content. Choice was added in materials and, based on the struggles I saw with defining formative and summative assessment, I created a video that explicitly defined each. I also opted to allow choice in technology for the presentation to differentiate, but also allow students to push their boundaries and comfort levels with technology.