Online Learning

This week, I reflected on my own teaching practices and the expectations in my current programs at work.


Menchaca’s presenation on brain research and online learning really resonated with me.  There were areas of confirmation such as metacognition with problem-solving, reflection, prediction, and trial and error.  However there were also new research ideas to me that made much sense to me in my learning as well as my students.  Dual coding helps both me and my students in learning, but now I have a term to call it.  These materials could help support teachers with their instruction as well as teach school staff, families, and community about community schools.


The Quality Matters Rubric Standards would be useful in my work with teachers.  While our teaching platform is not online, the standards on the rubric are applicable to learning with technology.  Learning objectives, assessment, measurement, and instruction materials are all important.  In classes that integrate technology such as iMovie, student interaction and engagement are high.  Areas where we’ve lacked in our program are learner support and accessibility.  Outside of teacher instruction, the student did not have access to other support.  A computer is so powerful, and teaching students to use it to access information would empower the children.


There are key considerations for online learning.  First, multimodal designs benefit students.  As learning is increased with dual coding, it allows students to input the information in multiple ways.  I know that am challenged when I read long informational text without any diagram, chart, or representation.  Animation, text, and manipulation could be included.  These pictorials help to understand concepts.  Next, with online tools, students are more likely to collaborate.  I’ve seen students gravitate to technology.  Thus I believe they will gravitate to online tools.  Students struggle with group work in the classroom.  I could see my own students going to a computer to show, teach or illustrate something to a classmate.  Accessing prior knowledge is also another key component.  Retention is greater when connections are made.  If a concept is really new, students need support.   Next, depth and relevance is important in learning.  We often hear it called “rigor and relevance.”  Students are more engaged when topics are relevant.   Students think critically when there is depth.  Lastly, metacognition strengthens learning.  This is also related to the depth.  By problem solving, reflecting, predicting, and learning by trial and error, knowledge is constructed.  These considerations should not only be considered in online learning, it should be considered in all learning.


While R2D2 has a systematic way of teaching and learning, I struggle with reading or a type of lecture before a hands on activity.  While I am able to read and reflect, it is my belief that learning takes place in active engagement.  However, I’m not sure what that looks like or even if that could happen in an online format.  While an online course has many benefits, there will also be limitations.


After reading the materials this week, I plan to do the following:


1. Reflection is one of the key learning pieces in project based learning.  I plan to encourage teachers to use technology to support their reflection instruction in class.  Students can learn to blog including video blogs or use social media.


2. When meeting with parents, community, and school staff, I’d like to include multimedia in teaching.



Online Course Suggestions

What are the 2 most important tips for succeeding in an online course?

  1. Be organized:  Keep a calendar or use an online tool like Trello to be oraganized with assignments.
  2. Create a schedule:  As scheduling is flexible in an online course, it will be important to have your own shedule of worktime.

How would a course designer or instructor address these types?

  1. Offer tools: Online course designers can offer tools such as Trello to keep students organized.
  2. Create weekly schedules:  A daily weekly schedule as Dr. Bert offered can help students  with a suggested schedule for the course.