Sunday, February 8, 2015

Leading Edge Certification: Online and Blended Teacher - 2.3 Reflection: Methodologies of the Online Instructor

PROMPT 2.3:  Methodologies of the Online Instructor

Write a post reflecting on the following:

  • Reflecting on the information covered in this module, how might your instructional methodologies need to change in an online or blended learning environment?
  • What skills and strategies might you improve or expand upon in order to best support student learning in a blended or online environment?

The past two years, I have taught in a blended classroom.  My instructional methodologies changed dramatically as I moved to a blended learning environment, and they continue to always change to meet the needs of my students.

I first began the shift to a blended classroom by flipping my instruction.  I created screencasts of all of my lectures, students watched the videos at home, and I reorganized the learning tasks that took place in the classroom.  I really analyzed what was the best use of the my face to face time with my students.  I focused on making very clear learning objectives and tossed out a lot of my previous activities and lessons that didn’t really meet those objectives.  I then provided much more time and focused activities for my students to really help them understand and apply what they were learning.  It allowed my students to really delve deeper and practice their critical thinking skills.  This was the start of helping me make my classroom more student centered.  I began using an LMS (Canvas), and started providing choices in learning activities, so students could choose how to receive the content (videos, readings, web resources), but also how to show me that they have mastered the learning objectives (creating videos, animations, blogs, etc.).  Students became content creators, not just consumers of the information.

I am out of the classroom this year, but when I return to the classroom, in order to better support my student learning in a blended environment, I want to have my students do more passion based learning, online discussions, as well as make more connections with the content to authentic problems.  I feel that students become more engaged when they have a real connection to their learning.  I have been reading a lot about 20time projects, project based learning, and other innovative ideas, such as gamification, and I really want to try some of these out with students.  I also have found that when given the opportunity to participate in an online discussion, students tend to not be as afraid of contributing as they are in a traditional face to face discussion.  Also, in an online discussion format, students can not only share their thoughts, but things that they have created.  This provides students multiple modalities to share their learning.

1 comment:

  1. Melissa,

    I didn't know you were out of the classroom! I too favor a blended learning approach and found that students respond well to videos when their teachers is in it, and the video is 6 min long or less.

    I'm heading to Korea International School. Hope things are well in California and may you always find new birds to find!