Larry Beck's May 2009 Learning Story


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Larry summarizes his story in this presentation, "from the first iteration, to the second iteration, to aspects of UDL I applied, to going fully online in the summer session the day after the Symposium! 'What a long, strange trip it's been.'"

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  • Faculty Fellow w/ CDI. 2007. All of this began two years ago at one of these workshops. I was actually a little reluctant at first…<number>
  • Student Assessment of Learning Gains >>> students did achieve SLOs 4.0-5.0 (see first iteration on web site)<number>
  • These are inspirational works that students can relate to on a personal basis. As we strive to create meaningful learning experiences it is useful to incorporate readings that students can relate to. The Last Season was actually written by a former student who won the National Outdoor Book Award and Barnes and Noble Discover Writer Award. I bring him in as a guest speaker each semester and students can relate to the fact that he was once sitting in the very same class.<number>
  • Students write about their personal connection to the subject matter in Portfolios. I have found these personal reflections make up the best student writing I’ve seen in 25 years of teaching at SDSU. They are making application of the course content, but in their own personal lives. For example, they write about personal meanings of nature in their lives, adventure, challenge and risk, adversity, and the healing power of nature. These are typically 12-20 pages long.<number>
  • Experiential Component includes first hand learning in places like Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon and Yosemite. I arrange for these through AS Aztec Adventures which provides transportation, logistics, leadership, etc. Students have a choice of this or the WebQuest which will be coming up later.<number>
  • Most important class…Again students achieved SLOs…Set up very similar to other class<number>
  • Tracy Kidder is a Pulitzer Prize winning author. Three Cups of Tea is currently #2 on the NYT bestseller list for softcover nonfiction. How many have read one or the other of these? If you haven’t read these, I can’t recommend them highly enough. Put on your summer reading list!<number>
  • Again, students write introspective essays related to the course content. These Portfolios are longer; 20-30 pages.<number>
  • Again, there is an experiential component. This time students cross the border and go into Baja to the Rancho La Mentada to learn about Spanish ranch heritage, Kumeyaay culture, and sustainable tourism principles. They go for the weekend and live in adobe cabins and eat traditional meals. I have arranged for local Kumeyaay to visit and teach them some vocabulary, songs, dance and games. They explore the landscape on horseback during the day. There is no electricity. It’s quite an experience for most of them. Then they write about their experiences in the context of the course materials. Again, they have an option to complete the WebQuest.<number>
  • Two years ago, we were presented with this diagram, and our charge was to redesign a course so that it shifted from traditional f2f toward a complete online course. I never could have imagined that two years later I would actually have shifted to a fully online course that begins tomorrow! My situation was unique because I was also teaching a class for the first time and found it impossible not to utilize some of the strategies in this new course as well. An overview of the courses…<number>
  • To create hybrid courses, about 30% online in each instance, I took advantage of traditional lower attendance days. The strategies I employed included Captivate online lectures, WebQuest and Wikis, and other online assignments. <number>
  • Note that there was an OPTION to attend class in Fall 2007. About a quarter of the class were attending. I made the captivate as engaging as possible. This required adding more slides (double to triple what was typical for my lectures). As my wife pointed out, “If your Captivate presentations are lame, then students will start coming to class.” By Spring 2009 the preference for online work jumps to more than 90%. One they no longer had a choice to attend class. Two they are becoming more and more accustomed to engaging with technology.<number>
  • This figure remained the same through Spring 2009.<number>
  • A little higher in Spring 2009, about 92%.<number>
  • Increased to about 65% “Yes” by Spring 2009.<number>
  • This remained the same in Spring 2009. Elsewhere was mostly the library, but also Starbucks and other places. Didn’t have to drive into school, could sleep in, could plan when, over the 5 days these were posted, to watch them, etc.<number>
  • Curb cut stuff… I saw this rise from 87% to more than 90% and finally just used the closed captions only.<number>
  • My work with Universal Design Learning…<number>
  • The idea is to provide students with alternative ways of demonstrating knowledge such as writing a paper OR an oral presentation OR taking an exam.<number>
  • We operate at this highest level in “creating” courses…orchestrating readings, projects, experiences that might be transformational in students’ lives.<number>
  • <number>
  • Second phase of my CDI work was videotaped student focus groups to get more information about the courses in general and the similarities and differences between the two major projects.<number>
  • Almost universally, students prefer online quizzes. Their only problem is forgetting to take them, which is rare. I list these on the course calendar, announce the day I post them (in the class session), and post an announcement on Bb. I post these for two days; from Monday right after class until Wednesday right before class. That schedule is always the same for all quizzes.<number>
  • These are entered directly into the grade book in Bb.<number>
  • Think about that…What do you think? Raise issue of cheating and plagiarism as I advance to next slide.<number>
  • And what do you think about this? Portfolio assignments and WQ projects accomplish this.<number>
  • What are the three primary reasons for offering an online component?<number>
  • Three reasons for blended learning from workshop two years ago. This seemed self-evident. But what about such things as effectiveness, relevance, and enjoyment?<number>
  • Same survey approach…<number>
  • <number>
  • Students love this approach!<number>
  • Everything else remained the same<number>
  • Higher grades in general and fewer failures! The exemplary examples keep improving as students keep outdoing the exemplars that are provided.<number>
  • Learn about all these different tools during the balance of this conference or as workshops offered through ITS!<number>
  • The joy of collaboration, working with great people, the challenge, hard work paying dividends, seeing how much students are enjoying this and seeing their investment in their learning.<number>
  • Larry Beck's May 2009 Learning Story

    1. 1. Larry Beck, Ph.D. San Diego State University Course Redesign: From Traditional, To Blended, To Online
    2. 2. Unconventional Readings
    3. 3. Introspective Portfolio Projects
    4. 4. Experiential Component
    5. 5. Student Comment The highlight of the class for me was the Aztec Adventure to Yosemite Valley…This adventure really set in the importance of the lectures…I got to experience firsthand the same sights that inspired John Muir. It was an experience I will always remember…
    6. 6. Unconventional Readings
    7. 7. Introspective Portfolio Projects
    8. 8. Experiential Component
    9. 9. Student Comment My time at Rancho La Mentada truly changed my life and was an absolutely beautiful experience…It was amazing to get away to a place where there is no technology to distract us from the beauty all around…Overall, this trip was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had.
    10. 10. Blended Learning Traditional Complete Face-to-Face Distance Ed
    11. 11. Blended Approach  Provide Online Work on:  Fridays (RTM 305)  Holidays (RTM 404)
    12. 12. Student Experiences RTM 305 89% Response Rate
    13. 13. Adobe Captivate Online presentations that include traditional PowerPoint slides and narration with options to pause, review, replay, etc.
    14. 14. Did you prefer Captivate to attending class on Fridays?
    15. 15. What is the downside of Captivate, if any? No questions/discussion Procrastination Long time to load up More time consuming
    16. 16. Did you ever pause or review some portion of the presentation?
    17. 17. Captivate
    18. 18. Where did you view the online Captivate presentations?
    19. 19. Did you prefer closed captions or without captions when viewing the online presentations?
    20. 20. UDL: Course Content Offers Various Methods of… Engagement Expression
    21. 21. Engagement  Universally designed course content provides options for engaging with the course material.  Posted PowerPoints and Captivate transcripts on Blackboard.  Provided supplemental materials (video segments and articles).
    22. 22. Expression  Universally designed course content allows for alternate methods of expression of the learning that occurs.  Students could choose their major project: the traditional Experiential Component or a WebQuest.
    23. 23. Universal Design Learning Offers students a variety of ways to learn the material and a variety of ways to express what was learned.
    24. 24. Why I Chose WQ and Wikis Critical Learning Elements
    25. 25. Cooperative Learning  Students interact with peers and professor  Knowledge is discovered and applied  Learning is cooperative (rather than competitive)
    26. 26. Bloom’s Taxonomy
    27. 27. Creating  Putting elements together to form a coherent whole or make an original product.  The WebQuest is structured so the task is to create something (in this case a Wiki).
    28. 28. 21st Century Skills  Information and technological literacy  Inventive and creative thinking  Communication and collaboration  Providing solutions to real-world issues
    29. 29. 21 Century Skills st WebQuest Experiential Component  Group Dynamics  Group Dynamics  Communication  Communication  Collaboration  Collaboration  Creative thinking  Creative thinking  Problem-solving  Problem-solving  Real-world issues  Real-world issues Information and Firsthand experience. technological literacy.
    30. 30. Student Comment Another highlight was the choice of whether we wanted to go on an Aztec Adventure or participate in a Wiki group. The choice to let us do what we wanted to, and how we learned the best, was probably my favorite thing about the class.
    31. 31. Online Quizzes Students Love Them!
    32. 32. Why Students Love Online Quizzes  Not as much stress  Doesn’t waste class time  Provides reward for reading  Immediate feedback (quiz score)  Prepared for in-class discussion
    33. 33. Why I Love Online Quizzes  All the reasons students love them  I don’t have to grade them!
    34. 34. From: Assessing the Online Learner (2009) Online exams should be viewed as take-home exams, as students will use notes and other resources to complete them. Be aware that when students enter the workforce, they will not be asked to solve problems from memory or without using reference materials.
    35. 35. From: Assessing the Online Learner (2009) Move beyond tests and quizzes to offer a variety of assessment techniques. Using major projects also reduces the likelihood of cheating or plagiarism when assignments are related to real-world situations that require incorporation of unique resources and personal analysis.
    36. 36. Two Years Ago at This Workshop, from the Keynote… Convenience Convenience Convenience
    37. 37. Overall Assessment of Blended Learning RTM 305 89% Response Rate
    38. 38. Compared to the traditional classroom experience the blended approach is:
    39. 39. Compared to the traditional classroom experience the blended approach is:
    40. 40. Compared to the traditional classroom experience the blended approach is:
    41. 41. Compared to the traditional classroom experience the blended approach is:
    42. 42. Would you like to take other blended learning courses?
    43. 43. Overall Assessment of Blended Learning RTM 404 94% Response Rate
    44. 44. Compared to the traditional classroom experience the blended approach is:
    45. 45. Compared to the traditional classroom experience the blended approach is:
    46. 46. Compared to the traditional classroom experience the blended approach is:
    47. 47. Compared to the traditional classroom experience the blended approach is:
    48. 48. Would you like to take other blended learning courses?
    49. 49. Did Learning Improve? Previous 5 Years Blended Learning  GPAs 2.7-3.0  3.3 in Fall  3.5 in Spring!
    50. 50. WHY?  Pause, review and/or replay Captivate  Transcripts and PowerPoints posted  Reading completed (online quiz motivation)  Options to meet preferred learning styles  Announcements—at least weekly  Exemplary examples of past work (Wikis)  Rubrics
    51. 51. The Fully Online Course Launches Tomorrow… With the intent that it will be as effective as the regular semester offering…
    52. 52. Course Features  Wimba Live Classroom  Captivate  Online Quizzes and Exams  WebQuest and Wikis  Discussion Board  Portfolio Projects  Online “Library” Resources
    53. 53. Good Luck! I hope your “story” is as rewarding to you and your students as my experience has been for me and my students.