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CourseSites Reflection


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CourseSites Reflection

  1. 1. CourseSites Reflection Instructor in Full STEM Ahead Student in Gamify the Classroom EDET 755 Sarah Tolson _______________________________________________________ I thoroughly enjoyed designing, developing, and implementing our CourseSite for STEM 123: Full STEM Ahead. Lindsay, Chris, Katie, and I incorporated as many design elements from the “Evaluation of Online Instruction” rubric as possible into our course within the short time frame we had to design an eight-week course! We enjoyed discussing our experiences from previous Educational Technology courses, creating an overview/weekly plan of assignments and tasks to guide us into developing our modules, and discussing whether we had implemented all aspects of the rubric, as well as how we could continue to improve upon our course design. We decided to implement a module system to deliver information and assignments to our students. We made this decision based upon the requirement from the rubric: “The course is designed in a module, unit or topic format that fits the accelerated format.” We collaborated to decide the topic for each module and what the assignments would be, so that we could determine the exact direction we wanted to take the course. From there, we used the rubric section entitled “Course Overview and Introduction” and the document we created together in Google Drive (the weekly topic, module requirements, and list of assignments/grades) to develop our course syllabus and rubric. The rubric encouraged us to introduce ourselves as instructors to the students, so we decided to take our introductory VoiceThreads from the beginning of EDET 755 and integrate them into our design of course materials. We also wanted to build community with our students, so we had them create a wiki to introduce themselves as part of Module 1. As a group, we discussed our weekly learning objectives, making sure they directly aligned with assessments that we made relevant through application-based activities. We also tried to align available readings as much as possible. We made sure that students had “opportunities for student self-reflection about their learning” through the integration of the discussion board in designated Modules, as well as with weekly readings. When designing our course, we did encounter some design issues. Right off the bat, we had difficulty getting everyone signed up as instructors, when CourseSites was new to us. After we explored the QuickStart guide, we were good to go! From there, we had some challenges designing page layouts, mainly because things were time- consuming or would crash for unknown reasons. My greatest challenge was trying to change the banner. I ended up coding the HTML, because it continued to do nothing as I tried to upload the picture. With some consistency, communication, and research, I think we were able to overcome the design issues we faced.
  2. 2. I am truly impressed with the design of our eight-week online course, inclusive of seven complete modules—especially when you take into consideration that our course was designed in three days, including much communication through Google Hangouts and email. Overall, I believe most of the course works—I really enjoy the module design, the way we scheduled assignments, readings, and modules, as well as how we promote student-to-student and student-to-instructor communication throughout the entire eight weeks. What doesn’t work as well as we would like, the weakness of our design in my opinion, are the readings. To be completely honest, we weren’t able to read much of the readings to know where the best fit would be or determine if it was the best reading for a designated week. We did read overviews, chapter titles/descriptions, and chapter summaries to try to align our readings with the modules as best as we could. We also designed two quizzes to go with the readings. We did read part of the readings to design the quizzes, but did not get to go in depth as much as if we were adding one module to the course at a time. I believe our course was easy to use, visually pleasing, and easy to navigate. I also liked the challenge of planning and designing the entire course. I dislike possibly not having the most-effective readings available. If I were to implement this course, I would work on designing the resources page to group resources: maybe by STEM research and then break down example lessons by age groups. I believe this would make resources more acceptable for teachers enrolled in our course. As a busy early childhood educator, I would like go directly to an early childhood section with all of the resources organized nicely in a chart. I enrolled as a student in Gamify the Classroom. I enjoyed my experience in the course and the ability to learn more about integrating games into my classroom. Our assignment was to complete the first week of assignments in entirety. I truly enjoyed reading about gaming, playing, reviewing, and discussing available games. However, I believe I could have taken more from the course if they required modified assignments from different levels of the course. I feel as though I did not have much opportunity to actually learn about integrating games by their requirements for the week—although I went ahead some on my own. This is why we required modified assignments from Module 1, 2, 5, and 7 from Full STEM Ahead. This provided our students with an introduction in Module 1, discovering resources in Module 2, modifying/creating a STEM-integrated lesson in Module 5, and reflecting in Module 7. This provided our students with a brief class at the beginning, middle, and end of our course—as well as the ability to learn about relevant Web 2.0 tools or lessons that they could take into their own classrooms. In Gamify the Classroom, we were introduced to gaming in the classroom, as well as a variety of games, some chances to review and discuss the games, but, without going into the course on my own, I felt uncertain of the direction of the course. I think their course is off to a great start, but would benefit from adding more components from the rubric.