Fall 2011

CEP 820-  Teaching K12 Students Online

Instructors: M. Hagerman  & S. Beauchamp- Hicks

In this course, we looked at various online learning platforms to create our own online unit of study. Throughout the course, we examined the idea of personalization in an online class, UDL principles, as well as ideas for collaboration and communication in an online setting.

United States Regions Course.

Moodle Course Design Reflection:

During the process of creating the Regions of the United States course on Moodle, I kept coming back to the elementary idea that I wanted the site to be simple, engaging, collaborative, and authentic.   It wasn’t just about the technology- but rather using technology as a tool for learning about the regions of the United States.  In addition, I wanted to maintain that sense of community that we hold in our classroom everyday. It was important that students understood how to use the course, and to be there for them every step of the way.  This is why I incorporated a screencast prior to each module.  I also wanted to be careful to incorporate tools that are familiar to them so it does not roadblock the learning. 
One of the pedagogical decisions that I also made during the design of this course  was that I wanted the students to have the opportunity to navigate their learning- to provide choice in content. We are all unique learners, which is why I wanted to provide options as to how they received material. Students would be provided with choices of content that they would use to meet the learning objectives of each module.  I incorporated UDL principles to provide options for engagement of the material that includes text, audio, and video resources.   This also led to a choice of tools to share their learning through a multimedia project.
  I was very fortunate that I didn’t have any major pitfalls along the way. I believe it was due to the fact that I spent a lot of time playing around with the course.  I was also very fortunate to have access to tutorials on how to use Moodle.   I would caution others to make sure that there is a lot of time to play and learn about creating a course.  I was a bit overwhelmed when I began creating the course because there were so many options on Moodle.  I remember thinking that maybe I should create a quiz because that option is available.  After evaluating its purpose, I realized that it was not essential towards accomplishing the learning objectives.  It is important to stick to the learning objectives while creating the course. Effective course design should meet the learning objectives, while using technology as a tool. It shouldn’t simply be about using technology.
Creating this course was a very positive and powerful experience.  My students will become navigators of their own learning about the regions of the United States through this course.  I am very anxious to see their growth and reflections throughout their experience. I hope to have the opportunity of creating another course for my classroom.

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