Below is a Reflection assignment for a project in ETEC 524: Learning Technologies. It required me to put forth justification for a course design, as well as assessment.
Quasi-Blended Learning Design
Before reading this reflection, be sure to view the above course outline. All academic references, context, and course content will be available there and is required for understanding this reflection.
As this course is designed for grade 4 students, I decided to make this course mostly face to face in interaction for three main reasons.
First, I am a teacher within a schooling environment, and as such am subject to the day to day, bell routine set up of my schooling system. I have tried my best to incorporate cross-curricular knowledge, and project based learning styles into this curriculum to combat this traditional method and bring it into the 21Century (as have many of my colleagues, and my school in general), however, logistically, we are still on a bell system so I needed to work within this time strain and physical space.
Second, the course is a “quasi-blended” classroom, in that a lot of the content is taught in a guided/enhanced discovery method, so students can begin to learn how to self-teach simple skills in a supportive environment with a mentor looking over them. This will help students to develop self-regulatory skills, as well as self-guided learning skills under the guide of an expert mentor who can “check in” and provide support where needed (allowing for many assignments to be intuitively low floor & high ceiling). The lessons are taught in a partial instruction, partial workblock, and partial online interactivity, all while being in the physical classroom itself.
Finally, I decided to make each lesson package neatly into 50m time blocks, and not assign any homework. At my school, students have 8 different specialist classes, as well as 4 homeroom classes, so homework can quickly pile up for young students if given excessively (on top of the poor results given to homework in the first place A. La Alfie Khon). On top of this, South Korean culture also has an extensive obsession with homework and academic intensity, so assigning more homework through a blended or online format would be detrimental, I believe, to life balance in my students.
Digital Citizenship Assessment
Rather than include a rubric style assessment for a summative project, I decided to use a survey to measure the rate of change in my students digital citizenship skills throughout the course of the first unit. I chose to use the modified Digital Citizenship Survey because it had been shown to reliably and validly measure digital citizenship skills. As the main goal for this unit was to improve student’s digital citizenship skills, it makes sense then to pre-test and post-test these skills in my students and see how effective the unit was in improving their skills, as well as gain another assessment on the students themselves to see how their own skills in practicing empathy online has changed over the 5 week curriculum.
This is a rather unique way of assessing student’s skills as rather than extrapolating a skill from a project finished by the students, there is a way to accurately measure the skill itself without the necessity of extrapolating from a project related to the content itself.