Moodle Lesson Creation

As I was creating my online Moodle lesson for EdTEch 522, I was near the end of completing an online Math ISAT Prep course for EdTEch 512. I know that I didn’t want them to be similar, not only because you cannot use course assignments for other courses, but because I thought to myself, “Think of something new…”. So, I thought and devised a plan that would allow adult learners to learn about Math. Yet, they wouldn’t simply be completing arithmetic or answering questions, either.

In Employment in America, an adult Mathematics Webquest, young adults will research what Math skills they would need to have in order to obtain a more satisfactory and financially stable job.  As they complete the Webquest, they will learn about a variety of occupations, what Math skills are involved with each, including daily life Math skills, and eventually, they will have gained a more thorough understanding of Mathematics, and hopefully, less fear of the subject itself. In addition, the course provides freedom of choice, the ability to work at their own pace or collaborate with their peers, share their experiences with their peers and provide & receive constructive feedback.  In conclusion, for Module 5, these adult learners will complete their final project, which will consist of a presentation or video that displays their preferred occupation involving Math, what skills they need to learn to get that desirable job and more.

Andragogy or adult learning theory, pertains to adult students that wish to be responsible for their own learning, provided constructive feedback or teacher facilitation, rather than dictation, and provided with freedom of choice. I believe I have applied these elements within my course design, along with an approach of Cognitivism.  This lesson allows the adult learner to recall prior knowledge, learn more about Math, and then build upon and update their way of thinking about Math.  Social presence is provided through the peer discussion forums, whereas instructor presence is provided through the course Q&A forum, the course welcome message and the instructor block, along with email, phone & available office hours.

Overall, the most difficult part of creating this lesson involved using the Moodle platform, because I am unfamiliar with it for anything other than completing EdTech course assignments.  However, I have always “Googled” any questions that I have had and solved the issue as soon as possible. If I couldn’t find the answer, I would then ask my peers. I am my own worst critic, and although I have received high marks from my peers, along with constructive criticism concerning a few small changes, I still think of changes that I could implement or ways to improve upon my course.  I think that as an online instructor, I will be very meticulous in tracking time spent answering student questions through a “Call Log”, finding ways to improve material, links and resources and last, sorting out the best and fastest way to implement any changes that are needed or suggested by the students. I feel that this project really made me think about those people out there that really despise Math and refuse to learn it, because they feel they are not smart enough. I want those people to know they are wrong and anyone can sit down, concentrate, and learn new information. I hope that 2 particular videos that I included in my lesson persuade these students to think that it is possible, so they broaden their horizons, and ultimately foster a better way of life for their families.

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Week 6 Reflection

In week 6 of EdTech 522, there were a multitude of readings to be read, discussing best practices for online instruction, including such topics as creating and maintaining a cognitive, social & teaching presence.  Maintaining these attributes throughout an online course helps students to first, “construct knowledge together as they engage in interactions”, and second, “build interpersonal relationships that impact learning activities” (Stavredes, 2011).  In addition, as an online instructor, it is important to build a teacher presence in order to facilitate the cognitive and social construction, while learners achieve the course objectives.

I found that these three attributes come up within each EdTech course and I believe that these are the three main characteristics of my own learning that I have experienced during these courses.  For example, at the beginning of each course, the instructor has each student introduce themselves to each other through a discussion forum or even hold a short video conference.  This helps students create professional contacts and even teams, that support each other throughout the course.  During these first introductory forums, there are even questions and discussions brought up by peers that meander off the path, and provide helpful information to the rest of the class, as they share their experiences in educational technology and questions or “needs improvement” from previous courses.  This first, yet simple, discussion causes cognitive and social presence to begin and continues, as long as the instructor facilitates the discussions, requesting that each student respond to at least 2 other peer’s points.

Of all the differing goals & objectives of online courses and ways that learners, young and old, learn best and how that can be accomplished, I believe that the most important thing for an online instructor to recall, should be to establish and maintain a cognitive, social & teacher Presence.  Without these three attributes, I believe that online courses would not accomplish their goals and students would not partake in these courses.

References

Stavredes, T. (2011). Effective online teaching: Foundations and strategies for student success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.