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Online Teaching and Assessment Philosophy and FAQ APA Format Sixth Edition Template Cyndee Tovsen, December 11, 2011 University of Colorado Denver INTE 5200: Designing and Organizing an Online Course

CYNDEE TOVSENS ONLINE TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT PHILOSOPHY AND FAQS 2 Online Teaching and Assessment Philosophy and FAQ Abstract The paper relates my online teaching philosophy, assessments, and FAQs that describe the current face-to-face teaching environment of my organization and how my beliefs and FAQs support my new online teaching ideas and use of Web 2.0 tools.


My current teaching and assessment philosophies are wrapped in the training, performance-based ideals of Human Performance Technology (HPT). HPT was started by Thomas Gilbert, Geary Rummler, Karen Brethower, Roger Kaufman and Joe Harless, who studied performance improvement, the process, and individual performers. My organization also follows the Accomplishments Based Curriculum Development (ABCD) process by Dr. Joe Harless, which emphasizes doing things, or tasks. We also are cognizant of the Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluation (ADDIE) conceptual framework, used by many instructional designers and organizations, and speaks to the living documents encompassed in analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation; these are the steps that continually revolve around each other while devising a course. The jobs that the United States government military performs are broken down into tasks. The instructional courseware produced by my organization is based around the performance of the tasks, and defined by gaps in the standards of performance. I believe in this idea and method of training and learning. It clearly identifies performance objectives based on needs analysis coming from observing tasks and processes. The assessments are written following the Terminal and Enabling Objectives, which become the focus of the assessments. The content is written to be reliable, current, necessary, clear, and concise information delivered by lecture and reading activities. Hands-on lab activities are usually included and take up much of the learners time spent in the classroom under the direction of the instructor. Quizzes are used to check the learners understanding of the subject

CYNDEE TOVSENS ONLINE TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT PHILOSOPHY AND FAQS 4 matter. The quiz is discussed in class and a summary of the lesson is given. A final exam is proctored on paper. The organization prepares students for learning through a face-to-face and hands-on lab mode. It is just beginning to direct some effort toward Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) or web-based learning. My studies have given me great tools for this new type of classroom online, while mindful of the current requirements of the organization, as laid out in their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). There will be many new ideas to design old, face-to-face courses and make into new web-based courses, where possible. There are so many new Web 2.0 tools and technology that incorporate the Internet functions and usability. There are many tools that facilitate the learner-staff, learner-learner, and learner-resource connections for the learner. The new social aspects of the web are being used in online courses more and more, such as Skype (www.skype.com), Google docs (https://docs.google.com/), and VoiceThread (www.voicethread.com) and help to keep the learner connected to the instructor, their peers, and the resources. Here is a quote that resonates with me, A constraint of classroom learning is that students might not explore the wealth of knowledge that exists outside their classroom or school. Loomis (2011). The web and other experiences can lend a big hand in providing more valuable and first-hand information for learners. In my current, online course project, Are You Smarter than a SMART Board? I have incorporated many online resources embedded in the course, and have listed many more resources on the web for students to explore. I have also embedded some evaluations into the course, following best practices.

CYNDEE TOVSENS ONLINE TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT PHILOSOPHY AND FAQS 5 I put a lot of credibility in the Constructivism Principle, with emphasis on the Component Display Theory (CDT). Constructivism suggests that learning occurs using authentic tasks, common in real-world settings. Some constructivists believe the task should not be isolated, but be in context and not simplified. M. David Merrill (1994). I have also read a lot about David A. Kolbs Experiential Learning Theory and how we need to take into account what our learners already know and build on it. He believes in learning through the experiences in our everyday life. Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Kolb (1984). His model incorporates four stages: 1. Concrete experience (DO) 2. Observation and reflection (OBSERVE) 3. Forming abstract concepts (THINK) 4. Testing in new situations (PLAN) I have followed the work of William Horton (2006) with his teaching methods: 1. Absorb (reading, exploring) 2. Do (experiencing) 3. Connect (discussion and reflection) These activities help the learner take in the knowledge and transfer it to their lives and professions. I think that Kolb and Horton have a lot of similar thinking and I want to incorporate it into my online teaching. I would like to study more about Constructivism by Siegfried M. Holzer. Holzer states, "The basic idea of constructivism is that knowledge must be constructed by the learner; it cannot

CYNDEE TOVSENS ONLINE TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT PHILOSOPHY AND FAQS 6 be supplied by the teacher. This is vividly expressed by the Farsi proverb, A well must produce its own water.'" Clearly, the student in an online course is the master of his universe. He/she must go beyond what is included and explore for themselves. As an instructor, I can lead the learner to resources for them to explore. Assessment Online I have been studying the topic of assessment and have found so many considerations for designing effective, online assessments. According to Palloff and Pratt (2009) we need to ask specific questions: Are we designing for individual or group work? Is this self-assessment or a formal exam? Are we including rubrics for the assessments? Have we considered the discussions to become part of the assessment? I also have questions and will address them in the FAQ following this section. My assessment in online teaching consists of a prerequisite-type of survey to establish what the learner comes into the course knowing. Like Kolb, I believe that carefully planned assessments at the beginning of units can determine if a learner already possesses enough knowledge to skip over the unit and proceed to the next. I am struck by the power of surveys and discussions and how they can be used as assessments: both for the student and the instructor. Boettcher (2010) describes the Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online and here, I zone in on numbers 6 and 7: 6. Ask for informal feedback early in the term. 7. Prepare discussion posts that invite responses, questions, discussions, and reflections.

CYNDEE TOVSENS ONLINE TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT PHILOSOPHY AND FAQS 7 I plan to incorporate these two steps for parts of my assessments (survey early in the course and to include discussions) to help reveal what knowledge the learner is acquiring. I will learn how the coursework is going for learners and what I can do to adjust in their workload, as the instructor. A simple survey is used for this purpose. The designed discussions and wikis provide a means to express creative and thoughtful ideas. It also is a means for me to determine what the learner is learning and encourage or guide them with positive, specific reflections which reinforce the learning. At the beginning of each new unit, the learner could be asked again in a short quiz to answer some questions regarding the objectives of the unit. If he/she can pass this quiz, they may be allowed to skip the unit and go on to the next unit, where they are again quizzed. If the student feels that he/she has already mastered an objective, it would be up to them (learner-centered) to review the unit or move on. I like to use self-quiz questions along the way through a course, or use discussions and wikis to demonstrate that the learner is engaged with the material and to show that the transfer of knowledge is happening. As a final assessment, I like for the learner to produce a final project demonstrating his/her mastery of the course. Here, I believe, like Holzer, an application of student writing and development of a project make great assessments to prove the transfer of knowledge from the instructor, peer, or resource to the learner.

CYNDEE TOVSENS ONLINE TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT PHILOSOPHY AND FAQS 8 References Boettcher, Judith V; Conrad, Rita-Marie (2010-05-13). The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips (pp. 36-37). Jossey-Bass. Kindle Edition. Horton, William. E-Learning by Design (Second Edition, 2011). San Francisco: Pfeiffer. Loomis, Sona (2011, Fall). Goodle doc, INTE5200 FA11 Elements of Learning. INTE 5200 Designing and Organizing an Online Course. Online: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10P4RkEkYf2JvlZ0lAqJoJqzNojh3ky1IH88vLTbIZ6 U/edit?hl=en_US Merrill, M. David and David G. Twitchell (1994). Instructional Design Theory, Educational Technology Publications. Online: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=5&sqi=2& ved=0CEsQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fkuedtech2.pbworks.com%2Ff%2FMerrill.pdf&ei=Y B3lTrXVNoaUtwegnMSkBQ&usg=AFQjCNHqOQop4X7f6DXf8kp3pysVVMJpAg Palloff and Pratt (2009). Assessing the Online Learner Resources and Strategies for Faculty (pp. 29-48). Jossey-Bass. Kindle Edition. Siegfried M. Holzer and Raul H. Andruet (April 2-4, 2000). Active Learning in the Classroom, Proceedings, ASEE Southeastern Section Annual Meeting, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Roanoke,VA. Online: http://www.edtech.vt.edu/succeed/docs/active2.pdf

CYNDEE TOVSENS ONLINE TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT PHILOSOPHY AND FAQS 9 Appendix FAQs for Teaching/Learning in an Online Environment In the Getting Acquainted Cognitively discussion through INTE 5200, I posted these thoughts and question, I hope to put the Zone of Proximal theory/practice into my online course...not sure how just yet as my course will be CBT style. It is important for the learner to get connected to the instructor and vice-versa to establish a relationship. I think I can offer my email address as a contact at the very least to answer specific questions. As I have studied and learned during this course, I now know how important that connection to the student will be, and the different methods to achieve the Zone of Proximal Theory by Vygotsky. I want to be able to design and develop online courseware for any education and training and for learners I may not be able to see and know (Zone of Proximal Development, (ZPD) : What I cant do What I can do with help What I can do

Figure 1. The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).

CYNDEE TOVSENS ONLINE TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT PHILOSOPHY AND FAQS 10 My learners will determine what they dont know, what they need help with, and what they can do. Much of this is determined by discussing and adding to a wiki that the entire class shares. The learner tracks his/her own experience while exploring their ZPD throughout the course and writes a reflection at the end of the course. I want use Web 2.0 technology to interact with learners who cannot come to class physically for whatever their reason may be or just wish to have the flexibility of online learning. I want to clearly understand how people work and how to motivate them in their learning through the use of effective courseware and technology. I want my teaching to be learnercentered, for me to connect with those learners, and to help them to grow in their areas of study. I want to see them challenged in their thinking and have real, engaging experiences with their coursework and research. How will I make my teaching learner-centered? Following the writings of Kolb and Horton, keeping the learner active throughout the course is key to the success of the course. The actions of Do, Observe, Think, and Plan, or Absorb, Do, and Connect all help connect the learner to the learning materials. Making the learning special for them by connecting with the learners real-world experiences to the course objectives is important. Accomplishing a project using the course tools, but tied to their existing needs will help to customize the material and make it learner-centered. My reflection post on a structured discussion: The structured discussion helped us to see other viewpoints and created more questions to explore even more ideas. Cyndee Tovsen (Sep 18, 2011).

CYNDEE TOVSENS ONLINE TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT PHILOSOPHY AND FAQS 11 It is so important to get others viewpoints and ideas. They stir ideas and questions in me! All learners would benefit by thoughtful discussion by others.