I use web pages (like this one) to teach my classes. Some are for in-class use and some are resources for the students outside of class. Here are some additions that I constructed to use in the fall semester in conjunction with my course redesign.
Since preparing for the class is so important in order to take the content out of the class, I prepared this web page as an introduction to that process:
I am going to spend a bit of time at the beginning of the semester talking about how to read the textbook, in order to take more content out of the classroom. One suggestion that I picked up was to occasionally ask a student in class what they underlined or noted on a certain page or section, to monitor their ability to identify important points and hopefully to encourage accountability in doing their reading. Research shows that one of the main reasons that students do not read is that students believe (we have taught them this!) that teachers will cover all important material in class. This may be a hard lesson to 'unteach' but this is my goal.
One document that I read that was particularly helpful is 11 Strategies for Getting Students to Read What Is Assigned I plan to incorporate some of these suggestions as CPAs (Class Preparation Assignments). This is the same concept as TIDs (Ticket in the Door). I think I had sort of given up on expecting students to read, but am inspired to make it happen! I will refer to the textbook as "your other professor(s)."
Note the Rubric at the bottom of the Reading Webpage. This is a 3-point assessment that can be done quickly and applied to most of the CPAs. I was happy to find this, as one of my concerns was the amount of time it would take to assess every CPA, with the understanding that this would be necessary to ensure student accountability.
I want the students to understand the different levels of learning so they can begin to devise their own questions in each level. One of the TIDs that I plan to use is to have the students write one question on every level of Blooms based upon the textbook reading assigned. These questions could then be used in the games templates (see below).
This is the course I'm redesigning. Of course, once you start on this path, it's impossible not to let it affect the other classes as well This webpage is also in progress, but I guess this is a progress report!
When I was in Minnesota this summer, my step-daughter and a friend came to visit. Her friend was a very bright and articulate college student. As I was asking him about his major, future plans, etc., he related that he totally bombed one semester in college because he was obsessed with playing a video game. I had already read some articles about applying gaming principles to learning, so I picked his brain about his motivation and why he spent so much time on that game. His answers were along the same lines as the articles I had read, but I guess that conversation, coming from a real college student, inspired me to look further and to include games in my course redesign.
1. there must be immediate feedback
2. there must be levels to accomplish; the questions or goals on each level require increasingly higher order thinking skills
3. the student takes on an identity in the game, which increases the engagement and motivation to continue and to accomplish the goal
4. it must be competitive, in the sense that students can compare progress
I was amazed a couple of years ago when I began using a method called "Recorder Karate" in my elementary music methods course. The students in that course have to learn to play the recorder well enough to teach it, and Recorder Karate is a popular elementary recorder method usually used in grades 3-5. The method basically moves students up from the white belt (simplest song) through several colors to get to the black belt (most difficult song). They must master one level to go on to the next. My college students were proudly displaying their belts (pieces of yarn in the correct colors that they tied on to their recorder straps) and were competing to see who could finish first. Wow.
This concludes my report on my Course Redesign progress. I must admit that the whole concept of taking the content out of the classroom has opened up a Pandora's Box of possibilities. The biggest challenge is not finding new and interesting ways to do this, but to balance the amount of time it takes. My old model was to spend way too many hours developing the material myself. I think the key is to allow the students to help create the content. This, to me, is the win-win proposition.
Please feel free to respond with feedback to this report. I appreciate your thoughts. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks again for the opportunity to be in this group.
Below you will find more information about games: no need to go any further in my report unless you are interested in my notes on games.
• When entering a gaming environment, a player adopts a character role or assumes an identity appropriate to the environment.
• Once within the gaming environment, the player perceives tasks to be completed and, consequently, progress to be made.
• In order to progress through the game's more complex levels, the player picks up the necessary vocabulary.
• The player adapts to the gaming environment by interacting with it.
• The player realigns expectations and judgments through each exploration and interaction, reappraising the cause and consequence of each experience accordingly.
• Students develop an emotional attachment to the character within the application that contributes to the learning experience by helping students to perceive the application as a real, situated experience (Ryan
Ten of the Very Best Reasons for Using Classroom Games (and for Justifying Their Use in Your Organization)
Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson