Blended Learner Reaction to Reading 3

For my class, I set the priority of grading on the weekly assignments. Seventy percent of the final grade is based on completing the weekly tutorials and submitting them on time. Twenty percent of the grade is based on the final exam, and the last 10% is based on the weekly quizzes. Since the quizzes offer the opportunity to obtain assistance through group collaboration, they generate the least portion of the final grade. Since the tutorials results are the knowledge I want the students to retain, they generate the largest portion.

The weekly tutorials are 1. a discussion of the project, and 2. detailed instruction on how to complete an activity or process in the application being discussed. The discussion explains the techniques and processes used in the project, as well as real word uses for the results of the project. For example in the Excel section on the grade book, I give specific instructions on which cell needs which content. If the students follow the instructions step by step, the result will be a functional grade book that they can use in their classroom. The grade book is designed to help a teacher track attendance, test scores, homework scores, and calculate a final grade based on those results.

The weekly quizzes are based on the tutorials. The questions come directly from the instructions and discussion. There are 10 multiple choice questions  for each quiz.

The final exam is a compilation of the weekly quizzes. All of the questions are directly from the quizzes. The students have seen all of the question during the semester. The final exam helps provide proof of the knowledge retention from the tutorials.

The Examples of Multiple Choice Items at the Levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy document was very helpful and informative. This knowledge will help me write better questions. I saved the file for future reference.

The document 10 Examples of Question Improvements  was not as helpful, primarily because a number of the links were old and the documents to which they lead were no longer available.

The Effective Assessment Examples had several bad links as well, but the ones that worked for the most part were good examples. Specifically the article Faculty Focus article on writing short answer questions as a “middle ground” between MC and essay types was very informative. I had not thought about using short answer (i.e. one paragraph answer), question in my quizzes. But with these type questions, professors “can measure many types of knowledge when phrased correctly — even divergent thinking and subjective and imaginative thought – ” (Codone 2011). This is the level of learning  I need to asses. Can my students use the technology I am teaching them in new or more efficient ways?

The one sentence summary is another method I plan to use in my testing. “Students answer seven questions separately: “Who? Does What? To Whom (or What)? When? Where? How? And Why?” (Kelly) This type of question can help me asses the student’s level of retention and his/her ability to analyze which elements of the tools/technology to use  to perform the assigned task.

Codone, Susan, (1/12/2011) Educational Assessment Retrieved 5-8-2014 from

Kelly, Kevin,  Commonwealth of Learning’sEducation for a Digital World

Reaction to Reading 1 BlendKit2014

Disruptive Innovation is an interesting concept. Although I think it could be relabeled Small Market Player Innovation. The idea is that as companies become more sophisticated with their products, they open the market for  new innovators who start over with low end products thereby allowing new customers into the market. What I do not understand is the disruptive part of the label.

Blended Learning is the result of combining face-to-face and online courses. The general definition from EduCause says about 30% to 70% of the class is online. This seems an appropriate amount of online content. However I have seen hybrid or blended courses in which 90% of the content is online. The class meets for the first session, and again for the final exam. All other content is online.

The Department of Education’s 2010 report caught me off-guard. I was surprised to learn that students in a blended course faired better that students in a F2F class.

The rest of the reading left me a bit enthused. The methodology for designing a n online or blended course is not fully developed yet. It is the content knowledge of the instructor that can drive the design. However just content knowledge alone cannot be the complete design pattern of the course. The instructor must also consider the audience, technical abilities of the students, and the availability of technology to the students. Some students may not have access to high-speed broad band internet, except at school. This makes the production of high band width content risky.

Module Interaction Worksheet

  1. Which module would you like to develop first?

    The first module will be the introduction to the Microsoft Office Ribbon. Since this class is intended to introduce students to the use of the Office Suite, the ribbon is of primary importance. This will require dissection of the ribbon and explanation of each icon.

  2. What are the objectives, based on Bloom’s taxonomy, for this module?

    This module will be a knowledge base from which the students will go on to production of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. This is an introductory course.

  3. What activities will students complete in this module? Will any require special instructions/tutorials?

    The first module will be a walk through of the icons on the MS Word ribbon. Each icon will be shown and described.

  4. What materials will you use in this module (textbook, instructor notes, links to websites, images, audio, video, newspapers, journals, ePack resources, etc.)?

    As with all of the content for this course, this module is developed by the instructor. No text book is required. College students spend enough money on books, why force them to buy anotherone when I can produce te necessary content.

  5. What types of interaction will students experience in this module?

    Interaction for the first module will be an in-class discussion of the ribbon and its functionality

  6. Which tools within your course management system (e.g., Blackboard, etc.) do you feel will best support the interactions listed above?

    This module will be prefaced with an in-class demonstration of the ribbon followed by an online tutorial to familiarize the student with the technology.

  7. Are there any tools outside of your course management system that you feel would work better to support your planned interaction? If so, which outside tools do you also plan to incorporate into your course?

    No other tools are necessary. the students will be instructed to visit me in the lab during office hours for additional assistance.

Blended Learner Chapter 2 Reading Response

This discussion at first confused me. I was caught by surprise by the label assigned to the different teaching methods. A classroom as an atelier? Interesting concept. A teacher/instructor as a concierge? I never thought of it this way. A teacher as a network administrator? WTH? Why would any instructor think of themselves this way? And an instructor as a curator? This one fascinated me. I immediately got this one. The others not so much. As I read the explanations, I came to understand how each category fit well. Although the network administrator was still a bit of a stretch. Since I come from the Information Technology arena, this one still does not quite fit. A network organizer is a better description in my opinion.

The human interaction requirement is very true. Many of the students who I have had in the past, do not function well in an online environment, because they are afraid to ask questions when they are stumped or lost. They are the students who, in a classroom environment, get their questions answered by the instructor, because another student was not afraid to ask. They need that type of environment where they can be anonymous and at the same time benefit from other students lack of fear for asking questions.

Asynchronous responses are another area where I understand the reading. I fully agree with the ideas, but never thought about the need for translation. I am doing one of the activities as I write this. I am editing as I go. I’m not one who just pours out thoughts on paper or a blog. I take my time and prepare my thoughts, then write them down. I self-edit throughout the process. As I write, I go back and read what I have written, editing all the way. In an asynchronous environment this is easy. In a face to face meeting this is more difficult. I have to plan my answer before I can respond.

The To, How, and Why of the student expressions was something I did unconsciously. I define what the requirements for discussion responses should be. What the student answers should contain, how they should be developed, and how they should respond to other student’s posts. I was not using the writer’s reasoning, just what I would want my instructor to tell me in the same situation..

IE6, Why are you still supporting this browser?

Microsoft says it’s time to say good bye. On their site ie6Countdown even they say this browser needs to go away. EOL IE 6.0 SP3 Release Date — April 21, 2008 Latest updates included with XP SP3. Supported until April 8, 2014. So if you are still using this browser, UPDATE. Your information is vulnerable. If you are still supporting this browser with your Web site programming, quit wasting your time. The multitude of people using this browser and causing a worldwide usage of 4.9% are from China where IE6 has 22.2% of users.


Treat others how you want to be treated. (Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.)

Why is it people who ask for much, usually give little in return?

If you are kind to others, they will be kind to not only you, but others as well, (Pay it forward?).

There ought to be a law…

that makes if illegal to blow the clippings from your yard into the street.

that makes it illegal to talk on your cell phone while being waited on in a store.

that makes it illegal to charge for refills on soft drinks.

that makes it illegal to use styrofoam for take out food.