for introspective students inclined to lifelong learning
I. Course proposal
An instructional case study for Collaborative Learning with Computer Support as the design project, will be supported using examples of nutritional hazards. Interactive self assessment items such as Survey Monkey & Hot Potatoes will be included.
Problem statement: Collaboration is limited within the face to face (F2F) classroom; it is anticipated that computerized instruction complementing the F2F interaction will allow & facilitate learner construction mechanisms that have been unavailable in traditional classrooms. As we enter the 21st century, collaboration rather than competition is becoming the new way. Advances in communication technology such as cell phones, text messaging, Twitter, and social networking through virtual sites have generated new ways of thinking about learning and information transfer. Facilitated collaboration, using computer communications, is one way to harness the new technologies, and solve some real world problems at the same time. Western society's primary health problem now is "too much of a good thing," so the examples provided will focus upon nutritional hazards.
Rationale: Teacher’s new role as a facilitator, rather than a provider, of information exchange requires some new tools & techniques in the classroom, virtual or otherwise. Most traditional teaching will occasionally use small groups to achieve tasks as part of a larger whole; that experience will form the basis of the new 21st century classroom. When students are teaching each other, learning together through scaffolded projects, teacher time is freed up for more fine tuned guidance & research. Collaboration amongst classrooms from different fields of study is also possible to implement, and allows teachers to model the learning process as they themselves learn about a new field. Empowering students to have more responsibility in their own learning process increases the probability of transfer of those processes outside of the classroom walls.
Collaborative Learning with Computer Support is intended to provide techniques, tools, and an experimental overview of what is possible using computer supported collaboration in the classroom. Each example subtopic includes different means of achieving the same learning objective, so that teaches will have choices for what works for them or their students. Also, the variety is intended to keep the three examples from becoming tedious, or repetitious. Like a guided webquest (Bernie Dodge, webquest.org ), the timing of each lesson may vary according to number of students, resources available, and student possession of prerequisite material. This course may best fit into a curriculum of a health class, physiology, biochemistry, biology, or communications.
II. Needs Assessment
Educators for this course will be self-selected; that is, they take the course of their own free will & attempt to continue learning beyond the walls of the classroom. Educators may bring in students who are enrolled in their other classes. Thus, Individual Learner Analysis includes factors students wish to absorb most intensively from this work, according to their own interests: communication skills, computer skills, content knowledge, allergy-specifics, or other nutirional aspects. These aims are not mutually exclusive, and what begins as a primary goal for one student may change, as their original intent becomes the focus of another, listening student. Promoting give & take through information exchange (communication) is the ultimate learning process goal for this collaboration project.
While objectives are established for each of the lesson units, student feedback (beginning with the initial survey) will assist educators in narrowing the scope for this course towards what students are most interested in learning. As any experienced educator knows, there are few limits to what students can create. Goals will ultimately be dependent upon formative assessment information gathering, primarily from the reflections that students provide.
III. Performance Objectives
A. After learning collaboration techniques, students will be able to: choose to collaborate with peers for resources; choose to share resources & ideas in collaborative tasks; witness interactions while absorbing useful information; understand the basis of knowledge-building communities; communicate more clearly & thoroughly; & transfer these skills to wholly new situations.
B. After following the example provided, students will be able to: discriminate amongst food cravings vs. nutritional needs; choose contentment of quality over quantity though variety & increased self-awareness; classify various food allergies & their symptoms; identify common over-reliance upon certain food selections; & demonstrate in action a properly balanced food selection.
UNIT OBJECTIVE 1: Participants will be able to use vocabulary terms in writing & speaking discussions within the proper context
UNIT OBJECTIVE 2: Educators & students will be able to discuss, question, collaborate about, and describe food allergies from an entry level point of view. As part of the collaboration, compiling basic research in order to add to the community resources will comprise their introduction to knowledge- building communities.
UNIT OBJECTIVE 3: Educators & students will be able to locate, evaluate, gather, organize, transcribe, and set up additional resource reference lists.
UNIT OBJECTIVE 4: Educators & students will be able to recognize what they’ve learned, what still needs to be learned, and potentially see a pathway to get from one place to the other.
UNIT OBJECTIVE 5: The Hot Potatoes links provide practice of the knowledge presented in this case study. Through the self assessment rubric, educators & students will be able to recognize what they’ve learned about computer supported collaboration, reflection processes, and food allergies. Through use of the provided rubric, educators will be able to determine what their students learned about collaboration.
IV. Task Analysis
Essential prerequisites include the ability to access & edit online material content, express thoughts with textual communication skills, a willingness to apply new concepts with an open mind, commitment to practice observation time for illustrating example, and adoption of new cognitive strategies using computer-facilitated collaboration.
Supportive prerequisites include the ability to trust others with original thoughts, opinions, & ideas, a curious attitude about both the effects of food allergies and omputer-supported collaboration, a willingness to learn new ways of learning (cognitive strategies), and the ability to respect the vulnerabilities of other collaborators when opinions & ideas are expressed.
V. Sequence of Lessons
A. Lesson Plan
Learners here are twofold; educators as teachers who will be examining the course case report, and their students. Assessments are aimed at the students, but may be used by the educators as well for their own metacognitive reflections on the usefulness of certain aspects of the case study. Learning outcomes for the students include: the ability to use computers for guided collaboration, increased metacognitive capacity, recognition of the variety of resources available for topic studies, and additional knowledge about food allergies. Learning outcomes for the educators include: heightened awareness of the potential for computer supported collaboration in learning specific topics, an increased repertoire of tools to support that collaboration (survey monkey, hot potatoes, rubristar), and upon application, an experiential knowledge of how students will interact with these materials to enhance learning.
B. CLCS Prelesson-0- A survey will be used to assess students' existing knowledge about collaboration, and their communication modes & frequencies.
D. CLCS Unit Lesson 2 Students are instructed in how to use the Space for Discussion Task to foster collaboration & exchange ideas about the example topic (nutritional hazards). Cognitive strategies using computer support are also addressed. These include learning discourse structures such as topic subheadings, open discussion focusing upon several important questions, project based artifact creation, or debate tasks. Support for these inquiries will be sustained with reading resources, examples & guidelines.
Metacognition: What do you know about allergies? Do any of the following food groups affect you, your family or friends? If so, how? If not, what effects do you think that they might have upon people who are affected? Please record your initial thoughts under this link.
Then, read through the provided summarization material. Research any of the links provided. List any other additional resources under the resource link below (3), and describe in text what additional material you think they add to the resources.
E. CLCS Unit Lesson 3 Resource sharing This is a space for you to share your own findings of additional resources. If you use additional resources to edit one of the topic- specific entries, please also list the sources there.
F. CLCS Unit Lesson 4 Metacognitive strategies are used throughout the course, with the goals of identifying progress in computer skills, communication facilities, and nutritional awareness. Review your initial thoughts periodically.
G. CLCS Unit Lesson 5 Assessment tools using Hot Potatoes are intended to link their new knowledge with an enjoyable learning device disguised as a game to encourage their learning in the future. Prior to completing them, you may find it useful to re-read your initial thoughts, questions, or experiences with food allergies as listed under Initial Thoughts. A rubric for the final self evaluation is provided, adapted from RubriStar, an educational software program.
VI. Curriculum Map
Prerequisites include the ability to access & edit online material content, express thoughts with textual communication skills, a willingness to apply new concepts with an open mind, commitment to practice observation time for illustrating example, and adoption of new cognitive strategies using computer-facilitated collaboration.
CLCS Lesson Units Introduction
CLCS Unit Lesson 1 Vocabulary
CLCS Unit Lesson 2 Space for Discussion Task
CLCS Unit Lesson 3 Resource Sharing
CLCS Unit Lesson 4 Metacognitive Strategies
CLCS Unit Lesson 5 Assessment Tools
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ETAP 623 Spring 2009 Learning Community