User:Vtaylor/TWB CTM notes

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Course 2 - Effective Management & Methods

Course 1 - Education for the New Millennium

Assignment 1: Your Assessment of Aspects of Good Teaching

Read the assignment text below, reflect, and compose an answer in the form below. Once submitted, members of your cohort will be able to provide feedback on your reflections.

  • List which concepts in the "Aspects of Good Teaching" section fit with your current attitude towards and method of teaching. Next to each concept you list, write a phrase or sentence that triggers a thought or anecdote (story) for you.
  • Focus on the students, not you - student learning, guide on the side
  • Make it human - accommodate student interests around the subject, encourage exploration within the topic space, problem-based learning
  • Give students an opportunity to teach - community of learners, collaboration

  • Choose one concept from your list and expand upon it. Write a paragraph describing the situation - the learning moment - what happened when that concept was applied in your own teaching or in observing another teacher in action.
  • Make it human - As part of an online course about computers and society, students are introduced to online community service learning. They can select from several community partners that are set up to work with volunteers via email and web pages and online applications - Project Gutenberg, Tar Heel Reader, for example. If students prefer, they can fulfill this assignment by doing technology based work for the community partner of their choice. The results have been terrific. Students find personal satisfaction in helping others through technology. They also use technology in ways that benefit the community, which is an important theme of the course.

  • From the list you've created, choose another concept and describe an example in your own teaching or in observing another teacher that tells the story of what happened when this concept was not applied.
  • Focus on the students, not you - Many students have experienced more authoritarian instruction. Teachers are the source of all information. Students rarely ask for clarification, even if they don't understand what is being taught. These students are really surprised and disoriented when they first encounter student-focused learning.

  • Look at the original Teachers Without Borders list of "Aspects of Good Teaching" in the previous two pages. Are there any concepts you disagree with in part or its entirety. Explain why.
  • This is a very good list of sound educational practice.

  • If you were to add 2 more "Aspects of Good Teaching" to the Teachers Without Borders list, what would the new titles be? Write a 2-3 sentence short description for each title/concept.
  • How am I doing? Talk with students and ask for their feedback. You can learn a lot from students. Better more effective teaching strategies come from learning what works for students. [encourage student-faculty contact]
  • encourage cooperation among students / encourage active/engaged learning - doing something as part of the learning - problem-based learning, interaction, collaboration
  • Give prompt feedback. Guiding student learning with prompt feedback prevents them from forming misconceptions or getting off track that a difficult to straighten out later
  • Learning takes time. When students are interested and challenged they will stay focused on the learning. [emphasize time on task]
  • communicate high expectations - Set the bar high. Let students understand how they can achieve it.
  • respect diverse talents and ways of learning - students learn in many different ways, and these may not be the same as the ways you learn or the way other students learn.

Assignment 2: The Power of Questions

Part One: Reflection

  • Writing questions is a great way to consider a broad range of topics without going into details and trying to solve the problems. The questions leave a trail of thoughts and topics of interest. There were no great surprises, but I am open to suggestions.

Part Two: Course Title and Description

  • Science in a global classroom - based on the biology lessons created by Declan McCabe's Saint Michael's College students for K-6 teachers in Vermont, USA. Adapt these hands-on science lessons, replacing the purchased items used in the original lessons developed for a school in an urban community, to use natural materials and found items available worldwide without cost.
  • mLearning Teacher Training - using mobile technology for teacher training. offer a number of short refresher workshops comprised of modules around a theme that are available on-demand or scheduled. May be delivered as audio only, 1:1 conversation, conference call (1:many or many:many), text, video (if possible).

Assignment 3: Towards an Imagined Dialogue

Which theories and approaches to learning fit with your current attitude towards and/or method of teaching? (3-4 paragraphs)

  • The approaches that are applicable to the online courses that I teach are Metacognition and Experiential Learning.
  • Metacognition
  • Experiential Learning

Which theories and approaches to learning do you disagree with in part or whole? Describe your reasons.

  • There is a place for every one of the theories and approaches - just not to the exclusion of any / all others. Even Behaviorialism - I want students to be conditioned check for messages every time they log in and to turn in their assignments on the due date displayed on the course web site.

"The Imagined Dialogue" - Imagine a scene, situation, or setting in which three characters in a short story, play, or myth meet. Have each of the three characters represent a different theory/approach to learning or actually be the person who created the theory. Through that character's words and actions in this imagined scenario, we will come to know something of his/her point of view and theory.

Assignment 4: Applying Theory

  • Which education theory are you most attracted to? Why?

  • Which theory are you able to apply to your classroom? Why?

  • Describe 3 concrete ways you can apply the theory to your classroom.

  • What kinds of support/resources exist in your school, or nearby schools to help you carry out these 3 aims? (They may be in the form of people, programs, institutional partnerships, monetary resources, internships, service projects, databases of organizational resources available to you.) Describe some of these resources and the concrete ways in which you can connect with them.

  • What challenges or obstacles do you face in applying the chosen theory in your classroom?

  • What kind of help do you need to overcome these obstacles?

Assignment 5: Critical Questions

Utilizing the knowledge you've gained about educational theories and approaches to learning, how would you characterize the educational systems in your community?

  • While there is some interest in exploring these educational theories and approaches to learning, there is also significant resistance to change. Many community college students are only interested in getting good grades so that they can transfer to a university. The requirements are high and there is competition for the limited number of available spaces. Students and instructors are assured of success by keeping traditional teaching methods and assessments. Anything else is considered unacceptably risky.

From your perspective, what positive changes in education are currently underway? What changes are needed?

  • Faculty development workshop are offered and generally well attended. However, beyond that, there isn't a lot of institutional incentive to make changes.

How are you catalyzing positive change or actively participating in the process?

  • As one of the developers and the facilitator of a faculty development workshop, I have been an advocate for change. As a part-time instructor, I have been implementing many new learning experiences that utilize technology to support learning.

Graffiti exists on walls all over the world as part self-expression, part social dialogue. Contribute by writing something on a public forum.

  • I am a member of the advisory council and an active participant in the user community forums.

About the CTM - Introductory Seminar

submitted / retrieve and post to blog

  • Inspirational teacher / mentor - Chickering & Gameson - guide on the side / Letha
  • Hospitality - culture / welcome - WikiEducator - community