The focus of this blog post will be on the following standards and how this lesson has helped me to meet those standards.
Standard C: The online teacher plans, designs, and incorporates strategies to encourage active learning, application, interaction, participation, and collaboration in the online environment.
Standard D: The online teacher promotes student success through clear expectations, prompt responses, and regular feedback.
Standard E: The online teacher models, guides, and encourages legal, ethical, and safe behavior related to technology use.
Standard J: The online teacher interacts in a professional, effective manner with colleagues, parents, and other members of the community to support students’ success.
Standard K: The online teacher arranges media and content to help students and teachers transfer knowledge most effectively in the online environment.
How has the Communicate module prepared you to meet each standard listed above?
The module on Communication has helped me in many ways to understand more effective ways to communicate with all stakeholders in the digital classroom. I feel more confident that I will be able to communicate though various forms of media to help the student reach their maximum potential while keeping parents and guardians informed through the educational journey. I have also learned much more about FERPA and how to keep my students and their information safe.
Please reference each standard by providing specific examples or links from your work in Communicate.
I feel that standard C was met with the lesson on Synchronous Sessions. Through creating a lesson with the focus being on a digital synchronous class, I was able to think about how to encourage collaboration and interaction.
I feel that standard D was met best in the lesson on Ongoing Communication. This lesson gave several good ideas about how to give regular feedback while keeping the expectations clear.
I feel that standard E was met best in Communication Laws. This section focused on the legal, ethical and safe use of technology in the online classroom environment. I felt this was the most beneficial and interesting section.
Standard J was best represented in News Items. This section did a great job of providing was to keep all stakeholders informed in the most professional ways. I will definitely utilize these methods in the future.
Standard K was met in Homepages. This section was very informative on how to arrange media and make it accessible for students. I was able learn how to create a space that student can find all of the information they need in one location.
Which strategies will you take away from the Communicate module and apply to your own teaching practices?
The first strategy I will take away is the use of a news letter. I found this to be a great was to get information out to the masses with the use of simple applications. The second thing I will use is the Digital Feedback. I thought this was a fun and engaging way to encourage students.
Which lessons were most beneficial for you??
The lesson I felt was the most valuable was Communication Laws. This section was not the most enjoyable to complete, however it was the most informative. The information learned in this lesson will keep my students safe and keep me from violating any laws or rules.
How do communication practices in the online environment correlate to effective feedback?
Both communication practices and feedback are focusing on communication with the student. The focus on both is reaching the student and helping the to learn and grow in the subject being covered. Whether we are communicating through a class discussion, email, bulletin board or a news letter, the focus is to communicate valuable information to the student so we can foster their growth.
Why is authentic feedback important for online learners?
Authentic feedback consists of certain key elements. It must reference a learning goal, and identify tangible aspects of that objective. It should be actionable; in other words, it should be feedback that prompts a child to do something specific in order to improve their understanding of the topic. Authentic feedback is personalized and user-friendly. Finally, authentic feedback is not effective if it is random; children benefit when it is timely, ongoing, and consistent. Authentic feedback can be given in a variety of ways: via written notes, on a phone call, or during video conversations.
In what ways might an instructor enrich a student’s online experience through feedback?
Students value their work being critiqued. Feedback is a critical part of education whether it is a traditional classroom on an online classroom. Though feedback students are able to understand why the standard was not met or how they may improve before the summative assessment it taken.
The following is an example of a rubric I created using Rubistar. This rubric is to be used for students conducting an emergency drill. There is room on the sides for explanations if needed and room at the bottom for adding scores.
The following attachments are examples of digital feedback. Digital feedback is a fun and positive way to encourage student success. Feedback, like the examples below, can reward excellence or encourage growth.
The first example can be used for a student that has turned in good work. It should show that the student has spent time working hard. The second example could be used for a student that has gone above and beyond the assignment details or requirements. The final exam could be used to encourage a student that needs a little more work to meet the standard.
The following material is an assignment I currently use in my classroom. The assignment takes a few days for students to complete and present to the class. I have included an attached rubric that allows for clear expectations and objective grading. The rubric also acts as a method of grading, and providing feedback to the student.
Synchronous Sessions are very important in the online class environment. Synchronous Sessions affords the student the opportunity to for student engagement, synchronous collaboration and instructional pacing. Through the use of videoconferencing, webcasts, and telephone conferences, the teacher can engage the students more similar to a traditional classroom. Synchronous classrooms in an online classroom promotes interaction and collaboration are identified as a major factor in successful learning outcomes and can be successfully achieved through feedback and collaboration. Online learning environments provide flexibility and offer students personalized learning opportunities. Students learning online have the opportunity to express their thoughts without judgment or interruptions. Online learning experiences can be developed to provide advanced educational opportunities for the learning needs of individual students. Asynchronous learning does not provide for any of the benefits found in synchronous learning.
The following is an example of a 30 minute lesson plan for 30 minute synchronous online class.
Discussion forums are a valuable part of the online classroom. This allows students to share ideas and collaborate on new subjects. Interaction with other students has always been a valuable part of any classroom, virtual classrooms are no different. As a teaching tool, discussion forums allow the teacher to gauge class understanding on a subject, monitor which students are conducting research, and find the students that need more assistance on an issue. Many students learn from their peers. The use of a discussion board allows a student to explain to their classmates in a different way than the teacher. I like the idea of using a discussion forum as a flipped classroom. A flipped classroom is where students learn the material before the lesson has been taught.
Teachers have to be vigilant when using discussion forums. Teachers must monitor student netiquette and students that don't understand the material. If we fail to watch for those who are not providing scholarly feedback or discussion, we may miss a student that does not understand the topic. For safety, teachers should always monitor post and require students to sign-in before being able to comment.
As an online instructor, how do you plan to incorporate news items and announcements?
I like the use of flyers to get information out for big announcements. There is something about a flyer that makes an event feel like it is more important. An email or a post simply cannot compare with the use of a flyer.
What resources would you reference to format news items?
There are many resources you can use to create a flyer. I am very comfortable with using Microsoft Office products, so for me it is natural to go to Publisher. Below is a copy of a news flyer for a Public Safety Meet and Greet.
This is a screenshot of my class bulletin board. This is a great way of sharing information inside of the virtual classroom.
For this blog my focus was on communication by using newsletters and other forms of media. I decided to test out Smore and Flipsnack. I found the two applications to be very help for different things. For Smore, I was a to create a flyer for the class that can be used for a weekly newsletter. You can follow this link to my new letter. After looking through Flipsnack, I decided this would be the perfect application for sending out multiple pages of or larger documents. I created a test with a mock course syllabus. The syllabus can be viewed by following this link.
Why is ongoing communication in the online classroom important?
Ongoing communication is just as, if not more, important in the online classroom than in a regular face-to-face classroom. Student success is dependent upon communication from the teacher to all stakeholders. Positive communication will ensure the expectations are delivery and learning is taking place.
How does the newsletter differ from mandatory communications?
Newsletters are not direct communication. Newsletters are written for the group of students generally laying out expectations, upcoming events, and important dates. Newsletters are designed to be informative to the entire group.
My name is Kris Martinez and I blog about learning public safety.