Hello, peers and colleagues,
As I review this weeks content, I find myself challenged by the questions that Bates has proposed in his textbook:
- what is my underlying epistemological position about knowledge and teaching?
- what are the desired learning outcomes from the teaching?
- what teaching methods will be employed to facilitate the learning outcomes?
- what are the unique educational characteristics of each medium/technology, and how well do these match the learning and teaching requirements?
- what resources are available?
As I look through the digital instruction tools, I have made an effort to come back to these questions and keep them as a foundation for the decisions that I am encountering as I work to develop a prototype to teach oral communication in an online environment.
I shared a post on Twitter earlier this week. Here is the tweet:
As I embark on my understanding of the foundations of my position of teaching and knowledge I come back to this quote and the message in this tweet. One of the central desires for the learning outcomes of my teaching would be to create an environment that allows for the transformational learning experience to take place. Following transformative learning experiences, learners have the ability to understand their position, think critically about it and understand how they can contribute to there personal growth and development and therefore, in turn, impact their community (Mezirow, Cranton, Brookfield).
The idea of a transformative learning experience was briefly discussed in my last post and extensive research has been done and can be seen in here in research by Patricia Cranton and Jack Mezirow. It is important to note that transformative learning experiences cannot be forced but they can be the goal (Cranton, 2002). Educators can facilitate an environment that may lead to transformative learning by critical reflection (Mezirow). As learners critically reflect, they assess presuppositions and gives learners a voice as they grow to understand themselves as agents of power (Cranton, 2002). Once learners see themselves as agents of power, they have the capacity to act and challenge the dominant discourses and move towards an inclusive and progressive community.
This article affirms that transformative learning can take place in the online learning environment. In the article, Smith (2012) encourages instructors to rethink their roles, to deliberately take advantage of the online context in transformative learning.
How does this relate to my prototype and digital instruction tools? I promise it does!
When evaluating the tools it is important to offer a variety of tools that will allow for the students to engage and reflect. Reflection is the key. Therefore, the learning materials included in the oral communication module must permit this type of interaction.
In order to reach as broad of an audience as possible, I would integrate audio (which also requires little bandwidth to remain inclusive), video (particularly videos that students record of themselves as they learn to improve their oral communication skills), computing for the purpose of submitting self-reflections, and social media tools such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress to share their experiences and learn tips from others on how to improve oral communication.
I believe that a learner-controlled environment is most effective for the adult learner for reasons discussed above and in my previous post.
I did some research on Edmodo and found that the following resources are embeddable into Edmodo. This link also has some helpful resources for integrating snap chat. Something that I admit I really need to work on. Overall, the Edmodo blog is really helpful and I want to take some time this week to do some more research on that blog.
Other goals for this week are to integrate audio, computing, video and social media into my Edmodo module for learning oral communication.
Any other helpful tips or tricks to integrating these tools into an online environment? I am happy to have taken EC&I 831 because that is providing me a lot of context for a learner guided, social media style of online course that existed all within a free and open space.
Something that I don’t really understand is to what extent is Edmodo free and open? Can you clarify that for me Alec?
Thanks for following along! Open to any feedback!