Every time I created a video I was surprised by how much I learned about the topic I was presenting on the video, how much I had to clarify my ideas and to choose my words in order to be precise, clear and succinct.
In the last video I created, I made sure I didn’t put too many words on each slide; I even try to display pictures instead of words every time I could. I also made sure I was not reading my slides because I always find that very boring when I watch a video where the narrator does that.
I found the tips provided by Gary Reynolds very useful so I want to save them here:
Gary Reynolds in ‘The Naked Presenter’ highlights some key points for instructors to consider when designing power point slide presentations.
Your presentation will be much better if you can create an emotional connection with your audience. Content alone is never sufficient. Start your presentation off with some ‘punch’! According to the ‘primacy effect’, “we best remember what happens at the beginning of a presentation more than any other part” (p. 64). Ask yourself, how can I make my presentation start off with some PUNCH:
Personal – A personal story can be very effective!
Unexpected – Open with a shocking quote or tap into an emotion with something surprising.
Novel – Present a powerful image accompanied with a relevant short story.
Challenging – Call on your audience to use their brains. How much would it take to…? How would you?
Humorous – If you can start off with a laugh or giggle, you’re audience will be more likely to pay attention
NEVER read off your slides! Some viewers will find this not only boring but insulting! Garr states that, “putting lots of text on a slide and then reading [it] is a great way to alienate your audience and ruin any hopes you have of making a connection” (p. 81).“If you plan to read Power Point slides, you might as well call off the presentation…because your ability to connect and persuade your audience or teach them anything will approach zero. Reading slides is no way to show presence, make a connection, or even transfer information in a memorable way.” (p. 81)
Reynolds suggests that there should not be more than 9 words per slide – post interesting images or pictures on your slides instead. Why? Text will soon be forgotten but an interesting, shocking or captivating picture will sometimes stay with us forever! Well, at least a lot longer than a stream of text will!
Don’t start off with an agenda. Show the agenda AFTER you CONNECT with your viewing audience. Remember the ‘primacy effect’!
When planning your power point, think of your slides as pages of a good book or an interesting story that has conflict, contrasts, problems and solutions. Your viewing audience will form an emotional bond and riveting attention if you can do this!
Many of the reasons listed there are directly likned to the different instructional strategies studied in this course such as Gamification (video games for education), Learning Styles (videos are good for Visual Learners). I would add to that Flipped Classrooms.
Tools: everytime I had to create a video, I used Screencast-O-Matic. I find this tool very easy to use and reliable.
Thread 1: What topics work best for the flipped classroom?
Subjects that involve psychomotor skills work well with the flipped classroom as suggested by the above participant’s subject matter expertise. To effectively use a flipped classroom, in-class activity must be done face to face while homework activity (out-of-class) is usually done at home with most common flipped classroom models. Lab techniques, role-playing, case studies, demonstration, games, simulations, experiments, community projects and many more are well suited for the flipped classroom concept.
One common theme that continually came up in this thread was “How do you get your students to do the assigned homework?” A flipped classroom would be not be effective if your students showed up knowing nothing while the instructor started the group activity and learners had no clue what was going on. Evidence-based on-line research shows homework that is required to be handed in the next day would confirm to the instructor the student has done the required homework. It could be formal or informal assessment. Homework assignments based from closed-ended problem solving questions would eliminate any frustration or anxiety. Even a reflective journal assignment would show higher levels of thinking about the subject matter. These low-stakes formative assessment tools can make your flipped classroom a success. Prior to starting the in-class activity, the instructor can use CAT’s such as the Minute Paper or what is the Muddiest Point to assess any misunderstandings of concepts and reiterate any potential errors.
Thread 2: Research to Support the Flipped Classroom.
flipped classrooms are trending in the education world but unfortunately flipped classrooms lack the scholarly research to prove its effectiveness. There are many things to consider about before planning your flipped lesson. Some of the things an instructor needs to consider are:
Will the learners do their assigned out-of-class homework readings?
Do the learners have proper functioning computer hardware that can download video content?
Do the learners have reliable internet service in which they can view the on-line video content?
Does the instructor have 2-3 hours of extracurricular time outside of their classrooms to create a video for the flipped classroom?
Does the instructor need to relearn how to make a digital video and will there be a learning curve?
Will all participants speak their voice in the group activity? Will all learning styles be addressed in the group activity?
Thread 3: Seven Things You Should Know about Flipped Classrooms
1. What is it? The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed.
2. How does it work? There is no single model for the flipped classroom – the term is widely used to describe almost any class structure that provides pre-recorded lectures followed by in-class exercise.
3. Who’s doing it? Flipped classrooms are trending. The word flipped classroom is a buzz word and everyday a growing number of higher education individual faculty are flipping their classes.
4. Why is it significant? By allocating more time to in-class activities, instructors have more of an opportunity to detect misunderstandings in concepts. Collaborative projects also fosters social interaction amongst students, allowing them to learn from each other and getting support from their peers.
5. What are the downsides? An effective flip requires careful preparation. Digital video lectures take time to create and there is a learning curve to learn if the instructor is new to creating videos. Students complain about the loss of face-to-face lectures and don’t appreciate the value of the hands-on portion of the flipped classroom. Students may skip class as they feel they only need to watch video content to pass the class. They are missing out on the higher thinking processes that the in-class activity fosters.
6. Where is it going? Technology is moving faster than education. New tools such as powerful mobile devices will put a wider range of rich, educational resources into the hands of students, at times and places that are most convenient for them. These new tools will support the out-of-class portion of flipped classrooms.
7. What are the implications for teaching and learning? The flipped classroom is student centered which puts more of the responsibility for learning on the student. Self-directed learning occurs.
What did I get from this discussion
I like the simplicity of this video in the way it explains what Flipped Classroom are and its benefits:
Basically everything I know today about Flipped Classroom I learned it from this discussion forum and the research I did to participate in this forum. However, I really had in mind to start blended courses to teach French with the idea that the time in the classroom would be dedicated to practice only. As I mentioned in the forum, I have a Beginner 3 course that is dedicated to practice only. The way I organized this course is actually the principle of a flipped classroom. This course is meant to provide an opportunity to the students to practice what they have learned in Beg 1 and Beg 2 (because they do a lot of grammar during these two first courses and they don’t have enough time for practice). In the Beg 3, every week, I give them a list of what they have to review, a list of new vocabulary and a text or online conversations they can listen to. They have to come to the next course ready to be able to participate in conversations themselves and the course in class is dedicated to role play activity. So I guess, I can say now that I have been using the flipped classroom technique without knowin it.
I didn’t have any solution to solve the problem of the students coming to the course unprepared. Now I know that it is a good idea to give them some assignment. Although, I have been telling them to learn the new vocabulary and I use different CATs to test them every time. I also ask them to write a conversation if they want and I make sure I always correct it. It doesn’t seem to be enough though. I believe that, more than anything, what motivates students to come to class ready is not to have to feel embarassed when they have to work with other students in the classroom. Also, the idea of quizzes about the video that the learners have to use to learn at home is great.
Even though I have been more or less using this technique, I was not aware of all the benefits. I really believe that it can help learners to learn in a more efficient and effective way. Teachers can identify what was not learned or understood properly at an individual level.
I had never reflect on the fact that “in terms of Bloom’s revised taxonomy (2001), this [FC] means that students are doing the lower levels of cognitive work (gaining knowledge and comprehension) outside of class, and focusing on the higher forms of cognitive work (application, analysis, synthesis, and/or evaluation) in class, where they have the support of their peers and instructor.” (Brame, C. Flipping the Classroom)
I am not concerned about the fact that preparing a video will take more time. I think that, as intructors, we all try to prepare our courses as well as we can that will be part of it. I don’t quite understand why it has to be a video. I believe that there are other ways to prepare the course for students to study at home.
I don’t believe that this technique can be used with any students. It is not possible for anybody to study by himself/herself. Many reasons for that, the first one is not knowing how to study, not having the discipline (because we haven’t been taught), etc. It is even more important to teach our student how to learn and the different “stages” or kinds of FC are very interesting to keep in mind in order to help learners become independant learners (http://panopto.com/blog/7-unique-flipped-classroom-models-right/):
1. The standard inverted classroom: Students are assigned the “homework” of watching video lectures and reading any materials relevant to the next day’s class. During class time, students practice what they’ve learned through traditional schoolwork, with their teachers freed up for additional one-on-one time.
2. The Discussion-Oriented Flipped Classroom: Class time is then devoted to discussion and exploration of the subjec — this is useful in subjects where context matters, e.g. English and history
3. The Demonstration-Focused Flipped Classroom: Especially for those subjects that require students to remember and repeat activities exactly — think chemistry, physics, and just about every math class
4. The Faux-Flipped Classroom (useful for early-stage learners) has those students watch lecture video in class — giving them the opportunity to review materials at their own pace, with the teacher able to move from student to student to offer whatever individual support each young learner needs.
5. The Group-Based Flipped Classroom – The shift happens when students come to class, where they team up to work together on that day’s assignment.
6. The Virtual Flipped Classroom: No real class time. simply require students to attend office hours or other regularly scheduled time for brief one-on-one instruction based on that individual student’s needs.
7. Flipping The Teacher: Students too can make use of video to better demonstrate proficiency. Assign students to their record practice role-play activities to show competency, or ask each to film themselves presenting a new subject or skill as a means to “teach the teacher”.
Tomorrow I will have to start facilitating the forum discussion about Gamification. As I am researching about this topic and preparing for the forum, my challenge is to write just enough information for the other students to be motivated to participate in the forum but not too much so they still have some research to do and thus learn more about the topic.
As it is mentionned in the article from Contact North “many of the features that are true for developing good discussion in class are also true for online discussion”. Although most of the information in this article is related to how to organize an online discussion (synchronous or asynchronous, graded or not, etc) and this has been done by our instructor already, two pieces of information are helpful:
One is about the goal of the discussion. Even though it has been clearly defined in the course assignment description and the students have a great experience in forum discussion, it may be useful to remind it for each specific discussion topic.
The role of the instructor is to move students away from opinions based solely on personal experience to evidence-based thinking.
This topic about “She Didn’t Teach. We Had to Learn it Ourselves.” is really interesting. One of my students always starts her questions by saying: “I know you are going to tell me that I can find the answer but…”. She is trying to get the answer from me by starting with this statement but it doesn’t work. However, even though I try to apply this principle in my teaching, I don’t find that it is easy. Just like I find it is easier to do something for my child instead of teaching him how to do it. It takes more patience, more guiding instead of going straight to the result, etc. When I teach Digital Literacy, I always tell my students that our ultimate goal is that they become self-directed learners because there is no way we can teach them everything about how to use a computer, for example. So when they are advanced enough, what I teach them is how to figure out something.
I believe that, even thoug it is pretty obvious in the case of computer skills, it is the same for any topic but it makes the role of the instructor much more complicated. Maybe more interesting too but, for sure, more challenging. It used to be that the role of the teacher was: “Listen to this and be able to reproduce it” and now it is:
Positive attitude generator
Creativity and critical thinking stimulator
What a change!
To get back to the topic of instructors not answering question, I found this article C3B4Me Policy to Encourage Students to Become Self-Directed Learners. It describes the C3B4Me (meaning “See three before me”) technique. It is very simple: “Before contacting me for assistance, go to three sources to determine if you can find the answer to your question on your own.” Not only can it help students to become self-directed learners but it may help them learn how to cooperate more.
Among the other techniques mentionned in this discussion to help students become self-directed learners, i really like the questions asked to the students in order for them to reflect on a graded exam. These questions are:
How to you feel about your grade? Were you surprised?
How did you study for the exam? Did you study enough?
Why did you lose points? Any patterns?
What will you do differently to prepare for the next exam?
I am definitely planning to use that. Because my French course is informal, I make it very clear that any assessment is for the students to understand what they need to work on (and for me to see what I need to explain better). Using these questions will help them achieve this goal.
I realize now that helping my students become self-directed learners is always my ultimate goal. I don’t think that I do enough to achieve this goal though.
My digital project was about a very simple technique called In-Class Portfolio. This technique is also another step to help students become self-directed learners. Here is the link to this video:
If “Learning Styles” are a Myth, what are Learning Differences and how can we approach them? (started by Silvia)
Learning Styles (started by Doug)
Culture and Age (started by Doug)
Learning Styles FAQ (started by Silvia)
The Marshmallow Challenge forces learners to collaborate
Main ideas discussed with authors:
Real factors that impact learning, such as people’s habits (Cindy Bai) or preferences (Elaine Lai) are sometimes wrongly called “learning styles”
Cultural beliefs can influence on how learners perceive education and the roles of both learners and educators, as well as expectations (Tanya Tan) and these can as well make the teaching of certain topics (history, religion, etc) very sensitive
Internationalization of curriculum (Doug): a trend that strives on embracing differences and being sensitive towards other cultural approaches to learning, how topics are determined and taught, etc.
Age differences may also affect how people learn, how they manage technology and expectations about educator and learner’s roles (Jolene Loveday), however, individual differences may override both socio-cultural and generational generalizations and teachers should be aware of this.
Fear, more than age, may impact how learners approach and use technology (Katrina Connell) and knowing how to match previous experiences with current ones and encouraging learners may be helpful to understand and engage them with tools they have never experience before
Diversity (which is different from learning styles and beyond cultural diversity and include people with disabilities, learning difficulties, addictions and other social or psychological challenges) may also become an “issue” for educators, as when it is a barrier, it can slow down and deeply impact a learner’s progress or even an entire class (Amie Schellenberg)
“Learning styles” have been catalogued and classified by different authors in even more diverse groups Linguistic, Math/Logical, Visual/Spatial, Musical, Interpersonal, Intra-personal, Bodily/Physical, Naturalistic Tactile, Active, Reflective , Global Understanding, Analytical Understanding (Tanya Tan)
“Rather than determining one specific style or another, the Felder-Silverman model proposes four dimensions of learning styles, and that each of us falls within a scale on each dimension. The four dimensions are:
Laughing (while not a learning style) leads to learning and should be encouraging in class through diverse activities as long as they are appropriate for the topic, group characteristics and time when they are applied, such as the Marshmallow Challenge (Talisa Ramos and Katrina Connell)
Classroom Assessment Techniques (CAT’s) are great tools for educators to fully understand their learners’ needs, expectations, level of learning and motivation (Talisa Ramos)
While most educators are aware of the fact that learners come to class with different experiences, motivation levels, expectations and preferences or habits, the tendency is to “teach everybody the same”. Why does this happen?: Why does this happen?
As educators, we need to be sensitive and careful about how we address “learning styles” and do this as a team along with our learners (not external labeling) (Avi Sternberg)
Finding diversity in the approaches we use to reach out learners is a good strategy: exposing them to different formats and activities. It is also important to be aware of the type of knowledge or skill we are teaching, and adapt the strategy to this (Isabelle Vilm)
Ethical issues: how do we see educators who continue perpetuating the myth on learning styles not supported by research or any other credible evidence? (Elaine Lai)
Students may benefit from a a team of educators (being taught by a team instead of a single teacher) as each educator will approach the topics in a different way, reinforcing and reaching out to the diverse preferences and expectations of learners (Rhonda Hite)
Active vs. Reflective Learners
Sensing vs. Intuitive Learners
Visual vs. Verbal Learners
Sequential vs. Global Learners (by Elaine Lai)
the extra time and work involved
impracticality, especially in larger classes
fossilized ideas of what “good” teaching is
standardization (transferability of courses) and ideas of fairness (Jolene Loveday)
While “learning styles” don’t exist, we all agree that a wide range of factors influence how people learn and approach the learning process. People of all ages and cultures come with a complex baggage of experiences, stories and beliefs related to learning, expectations about the process and roles in learning, different goals and different levels of independence, metacognition, etc.
Because of the above, we as educators need to be able to assess these differences, if possible one-on-one and carefully build a “learner profile” along with the learner so we can create environments and activities that help each learner to be the best they can be and to learn how to learn…
What did I get from this discussion
I am very interested in the part of the discussion related to the fact that “Age differences may also affect how people learn, how they manage technology and expectations about educator and learner’s roles”. Because I completed the Online Instruction program, but also because the population of learners I teach to includes a wide variety of learners in terms of age, this topic is particularly important to me. I have started designing my own French online courses and I am not sure is the oldest part of the population will be interested in taking the course online or blended as I am planning to offer it. However, I also teach Digital Literacy and I see many people over 70, even 80 years old come to learn how to use their Digital Devices including computers. Does it mean that they would choose these tools in order to learn other topics? I doubt that it would be their first choice. It was mentionned in the discussion that “Fear, more than age, may impact how learners approach and use technology”. When I teach Digital Literacy, I observe that fear is often related to age. Here is what the literature says about that:
People from the Veterans generation “do not like the change” and “they are not very risk tolerant” (United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, n.d., p.5). This is probably why they are afraid of doing something wrong when they use technology.
People from the Boomer generation are “either afraid of new technology or just simply do not understand it” (United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, n.d., p.9). However, since they are also “avid learners” (Coates, 2007) and “competitive” (Hart, 2008), they would probably take up the challenge of using technology to learn and do their best.
As for the Gen X who still belong to the Digital Immigrant group (Prensky, 2001) “learn – like all immigrants, some better than others – to adapt to their environment”. Therefore, we can expect that the majority should have a level of comfort facing the use of technology to learn higher than the two previous generations. They are motivated also by the possibility of the latest technological advances” (United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, n.d., p.8).
This is about age differences affecting how people manage technology. Now about their expectations about educator and learners’ role, I found that the difference is higher among people with different cultures. In some cultures, the mark of respect towards different people, including the teacher, is very important. For the same reason, people raised with this culture, expect the teacher to tell them what they have to know. (But whatever the differences are between the different learners, I believe that a self-directed approach is new for any adult learner. It needs to be clearly explained in order to be understood and accepted.)
I totally agree that “Classroom Assessment Techniques (CAT’s) are great tools for educators to fully understand their learners’ needs, expectations, level of learning and motivation”. I have been using them a lot since I took PIDP 3230 but, maybe not so much to understand my learner’s expectations. I have been using a pre-course questionnaire for that but I guess I could us a CAT to also get better feedback about the course (to see if it meets learners’ expectation) during the course.
Why do we “teach everybody the same” despite the fact that we are aware of learners’ differences and how important they are? I am trying to see how I could take these differences into account during a group class. I believe that I do a little bit: when I ask questions individually, I choose the question according to what I know about the learner. However, this discussion makes me wonder if I could do more.
I am not finding any answer right now but this discussion forum has certainly been a good reminder for me that, even though I don’t like the learning style “classification”, differences among learners are very important to take into account all the time.
The Students Engagement Technique that I chose to present for my digital project is In-Class portfolio. It is a SET that is used to help students improve their learning skills.
Basically, students collect their notes in a portfolio and submit them for evaluation. The evaluation can be done by the instructor or other students. In the second case, it can save a lot of the instructor’s time and it can be beneficial for the other students too.
The role of the instructor can be described in 3 or 4 steps: (1) short lesson about note taking, (2) description of the portfolio parameters,(3) creation of a grading rubric and (4) a cover sheet. The instructor then develops his/her lessons including as many other SETs as usual. The role of the learners is to stay focused during the course, take accurate notes, summarize what they have learned, and then collect all these notes in a portfolio. They may also assess their own or other students’ portfolios.
The advantages of this technique are: to teach students to take good notes, it helps them focus during the course, and it forces the instructor to present clear material. The main disadvantages are the amount of additional work that can be required from either the students or the instructor, the danger that students may be so focussed on their notes that they forget to participate, and the tendency it has to make students rely on these corrections instead of being fully responsible for their own notes. For this last reason, this technique shouldn’t be used with advanced learners.