It’s odd to be one of the few (perhaps the only?) in the class teaching an online, asynchronous course. Given the methods for content delivery in a standard unit, I had very little real data from this semester to reflect upon – much of the data that informs my decisions is actually from previous semesters. Also, while I have had an opportunity to do some structured support, it’s difficult to say where the module will go two-three days in.
Rachelle, as a former student, did reinforce the need for the changes I am making in her comments on my blog. I engaged with her comments around the importance of being flexible and never feeling as if we are “done” – while we may achieve expert status in our field, there will always be more to learn and do. Along those lines, I commented on Kendra’s blog about the importance of flexibility in any teacher’s repertoire. As a pillar of both good teaching strategy and differentiation, it is imperative that we tackle the things we have set forth to do each day with flexibility…this ensures our students have the best experience and prevents us from going home grumpy when we may not complete our “To Do List” every day.
Gerald and I interacted on both our blogs about both the challenges and rewards of differentiation. I was excited to hear that his differentiated unit is going well, particularly given his initial trepidation. On my blog we discussed how important communication is in an online course to build both student “connectedness” and to ensure that we are differentiating to meet their individual needs. His blog also encouraged me to think about the importance of aligning assessments to both our standards and our content.
Finally, as someone who loves Excel, I asked Josie what processes she intends to use to ensure that her students are able to start where they need to begin…in other words, taking into account the prior experience and knowledge (or lack thereof) across the diverse range of students she teaches.