Peer Review

Hi Alistair, Brian, and Yulu,

Thank you for sharing your group’s interactive learning resource. The topic of your group’s project is about “Happiness”. Personally, I totally agree that happiness is a very abstract concept, which is difficult to define and describe. Different people may have different definitions and experiences on feeling happy.

Layout and Structure

It’s very clear and organized for me to participate in your group’s project. The use of highlighted titles makes it easier and clearer for me to find and learn from. I liked that you use a chart to present an overview of your project’s assessment plan with different learning goals, types of assessment, and formats of assessment. It’s very clear and brief for me to better understand what your learning assessments are and what learning goals people will achieve directly.

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes that your group presented are quite clear. All the three learning outcomes you provided are closely related to the topic of your project and can make learners to have a much better and learning of this topic.

Learning Theory and Learning Design

It’s very great to see that your group use the learning theory of constructivism to design and create this project. As I described above, the concept of “Happiness” is very abstract and wide and different people may have different experiences, reflections, and definitions on this concept; therefore, I totally agree with your group’s idea about that compared with teaching of knowledge to the learners directly, it will be more effective and meaningful for asking learners to construct their knowledge about “happiness” based on their own experience or reflections in your project. I think the use of this learning theory in your project is quite meaningful, valuable, and significant. Also, the learning design of your group’s project is about direct instruction. In my opinion, direct instruction focuses more on teacher-directed teaching method. Although there are many different types of assessment in your group’s project, how can you (instructors) give instant feedbacks to your learners in order to help them to solve their problems and how can you ensure that they understand all the learning content specifically. I might have missed something in your learning assessment, so let me know and correct me if I am wrong or miss something important.

Assessment Plan

I really liked how your group designed the learning assessment of the project. There are three main types of learning assessment: pre-assessment, formative assessment, and post-assessment. In my opinion, the use of different types and formats of assessment can not only help learners to better understand their learning materials, but also can make their learning process become more interactive and effective. It’s very clear, easy and organize for me to see your learning assessment.

Inclusive Design

I found the examples and description your group provided for both English language learners and learners with hearing difficulties are clear and informative. I liked that you provided video translators to your learners directly in order to help them to understand the content on the video. I think this can help both the two groups of learners clearly and specifically.

Suggestions

From your assessment plan, I found that your project included a few effective interactive learning assessment and online discussions, such as describing your own understanding of happiness with other people and providing some examples about finding happiness. However, your project did not provide too much description about what kinds of online discussion tools your group might use in this project? How can your learners participate in the learning assessment and interact with their peers  directly? I suggest you to provide more detailed information about the technology choices, but correct me if I’m wrong or missing something about this online technology.

In my opinion, your group’s interactive learning resource is very meaningful and clear. Thank you for all of you.

 

Response to Blog Post 4

Hello Ruilin,

Thank you for your blog post (Blog 4). Personally, I found the video you shared is related to the group’s interactive learning resource project. As your group member, I think your ideas in this post is very informative and useful. I agree that using animation or visual elements in the project will be attractive and engaged for learners as well. I noticed that our idea is similar. We both think that learners are more likely to take notes when they watch this video in order to respond to the video on their own. I believe that taking notes will helpful for learners to understand and view the content. Thank you.

Response to Blog Post 3

Hello Ruilin,

Thank you for your blog post (Blog 3). I agree with your idea of using a variety of multimedia in learning materials can help learners to not only engage in learning, but also meet their learning needs directly. I really liked how you organize the project and how you add the multimedia in digital materials. In my opinion, using a blog as a teaching platform will be very convenient and effective for learners to participate in.

Response to Blog Post 2

Hello Sifan,

Thank you for your blog post (Post 2: Inquiry-based Learning). After reading your post, I have a much better understanding of inquiry-based learning. I really liked how you organize your post, which is clear and structured. All the four phases of this instructional approach you introduced are clear and brief. As your group member for the final project, I agree that this instructional approach is not suitable for using in our project. In our project, learners needs to learn from the content and materials we presented instead of asking them to build their knowledge through their own learning exploration. Thank you for your posting.

Response to Blog Post 1

Hello Sifan,

Thank you for your blog post (Post 1: Learning, Motivation, and Theory). Same as you, I had taken the course EDCI 337 before and I found it quite interesting and useful. That was my first time taking online course in Uvic, which makes me love this kind of learning approach as well. I think it is very flexible, convenient, and effective for me to take online courses. I agree with your opinion about that that online course is based on the learning theory of constructivism. In my opinion, using different social media tools to construct our own knowledge, sharing our knowledge or experience, and learning from our peers directly are very interactive and attractive.

Blog 4: Interaction

The video that I selected is about what diets are and how they work in our bodies directly. This video is in relation to our interactive learning resource project, which is about essential nutrients. After learning essential nutrients in our bodies, learners can use this video as an introduction to learn more about how to design their daily plan and how to make dietary choices clearly.

1. In what way are they likely to respond to the video on their own, e.g. make notes, do an activity, think about the topic (learner-generated)? 

Learners are likely to make notes when they watch this video in order to respond to the video on their own. This video has been divided into several aspects with clear subtitles, so taking notes will be much more useful and helpful for learners to understand and review the content. The learning content in this video is directly related to learners’ lives and daily diets, so they can also share their reflections or have a further researching on this topic through learning activities.

2. What activity could you suggest that they do, after they have watched the video (designed)? What type of knowledge or skill would that activity help develop? What medium or technology would students use to do the activity?

I will suggest learners to write their own reflections in relation to nutrients and diets they have learned after they have watched this video. If it is requited, I will also create an online discussion forum by using social media tool and encourage learners to discuss questions, share their reflections, and respond to other people’s experience on this online forum. Also, I will encourage them to work in a small group and design a balanced daily diet plan on the forum as well. In my opinion, this kind of learning activity can help learners to improve their communication skills and cooperative skills.

3. How would students get feedback on the activity that you set? What medium or technology would they and/or you use for getting and giving feedback on their activity?

From our reading material, Bates (2019) also reflects the importance of feedbacks in learning process. As he describes, some medium like an online discussion forum can be an effective platform for instructors to provide feedbacks (Bates, 2019). In order to give learners’ feedback on their activity, an online discussion forum will be created and used as well. In the discussion forums, learners can not only share ideas and reply to other people’s posts, but also can get feedbacks and suggestions from me as well.

4. How could the video have been designed to generate more or better activity from viewers or students?

The creator of this video can add more interactive activities in the video in order to help viewers or learners to generate more and better activities or ideas from it. For example, asking a relevant question in the end of the video in order to encourage learners to do more research on this topic. Also, adding more short questions during the video to help viewers to thinking and assessing in their learning process. The interactive activities can make the video become much more attractive as well.

Source

Bates, A. W (2019). Teaching in a Digital Age: Second Edition. Retrieved from: https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/teachinginadigitalagev2/chapter/pedagogical-roles-for-text-audio-and-video/

Blog 3: Inclusive Design

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Blog Prompt: How will your interactive learning resource specifically ensure that the needs of all learners can be met?

In this week, we focus mainly on discussing universal design. According to the web article, “Making Sense of Universal Design for Learning”, the author states that universal design for learning (UDL) is a useful educational method that benefits all learners by reducing barriers to learning and addressing learning needs of different learners. In my opinion, there are many benefits of using universal design in learning, such as giving learners many different ways to acquire and demonstrate knowledge, making the instructional practices more flexible and equable, increasing learner engagement and helping instructors to better support every learner.

In our group’s interactive learning resource, we also tend to use universal design to ensure that the needs of all learners can be met. We plan to use a blog on WordPress as our project’s teaching platform. The topic of our project will be divided into three main sub-topics (i.e. three blog posts). Each post will include a brief introduction of learning outcomes, learning materials with a variety of multimedia (i.e. texts, videos, audio, images, and links), and learning assessment. In my opinion, the design of our interactive learning resource can help learners to meet their learning needs and preferences specifically in several ways.

Specific learning goals are given to our learners. The brief and clear learning outcomes for each sub-topic will be shown in the beginning in order to help our learners to have a clearer viewing about what they will learn from our post directly. Our learners will know exactly what to expect from our lesson and will feel more motivated to pay attention to complete their learning goals.

Flexible learning places and times. Our project is learner-centered, which means learners can decide on their own pace, time, and place of learning directly by themselves. One of the biggest challenges for our learners are that they need to have access to use the Internet in order to read our blog posts. However, the learning places and times are very flexible, so they can participate in our project at any time, anywhere they want when they are available in using the Internet.

Learning materials with a variety of multimedia. As I mentioned above, the learning materials in our project will be used by different kinds of multimedia, including texts, audios, videos, and images. Therefore, it will always be convenient, useful, and effective for different groups of people. For learners who prefer to read, they can learn from the texts and additional reading materials in our lesson, but for learners who prefer to listen, they can watch the videos we shared and and get benefits from them directly.

Overall, I think all the ways can make me ensure that needs of all our learners can be met specifically from our interactive learning resource.

References

Making Sense of Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from: https://education.alberta.ca/media/464638/video-discussion-guide-4-making-sense-of-universal-design.pdf

Jordan N. (2019). Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from: https://www.prodigygame.com/blog/universal-design-for-learning/

Blog 2: Experiential Learning

Different from traditional education, in experiential learning, students need to develop knowledge and skills from direct experience. Experiential learning not only encourages students to learn by taking action, but also asks them to reflect on and take new action, based on experience. Therefore, it requires self-initiative and self-assessment in learning process. The purpose of experiential learning is not simply to learn a skill or knowledge through practice or hands-on experience, but also to think critically about the experience and learn from mistakes, consequences, and achievements.

The image below demonstrates the Experiential Learning Cycle by Kolb, which also shows the main characteristics of this approach (Experiential Education, 2020):

The Experiential Learning Cycle. Image by “What are Kolb’s Learning Styles and What Do They Mean?”

 

  • Concrete Experience: the learner encounters a new experience or reinterprets an existing experience.
  • Reflective Observation: the learner reflects on the new experience and finds the inconsistencies between his/her understanding and experience.
  • Abstract Conceptualization: the learner develops new ideas based on experience and reflection.
  • Active Experimentation: the learner acts on his/her new ideas by engaging in new experiences.

Based on the Experiential Learning Cycle, I think this approach can apply to our blueprint.

Concrete Experience: the topic of our blueprint is about the basic information of nutrients in our bodies. In the beginning, students will be asked to record their own daily diet and divide their diets into several groups, based on different nutrients. It is the process for them to reinterprets their existing experience.

Reflective Observation: after learning from the content we presented, learners need to reflect on their daily diets and explore the inconsistencies between their daily diets and their understanding.

Abstract Conceptualization: learners will develop new ideas about how to improve their daily diets based on their reflection. In this part, they will also share their ideas and experiences with their peers on online discussion forums and discuss their opinions with them.

Active Experimentation: learners will design and create new daily diet plans based on what they have learned from our project and what essential nutrients they needed.

In my opinion, experiential learning will play an important and necessary role in our Blueprint. Also, this approach can help our learners to be more engaged in learning process, develop new ideas, and have more learning experience and cognitive ability.

 

References

Image: What are Kolb’s Learning Styles and What Do They Mean? Retrieved from: https://www.skillshub.com/what-are-kolbs-learning-styles/

Experiential Learning Cycle Model (2020). Experiential Education. Retrieved from: https://carleton.ca/experientialeducation/what-is-experiential-education/experiential-learning-cycle-model/

Blog 1: Learning Theories

Blog Prompt: share a story about how you overcame a learning challenge. Why was it a challenge? What strategies did you use? Use the language you learned in this unit.

One of the learning experiences I want to share is about learning IELTs and taking the IELTs test. As an international student, I have to take and pass the IELTS Academic test in order to apply to the university successfully. At that time, a minimum overall score of 6.5 (total score is 9.0) is a mandatory requirement with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic IELTs test. There are four main parts on IELTs test, including speaking, listening, writing, and reading. However, one of the learning challenges for me in IELTs test was the section of writing. When I first time taking this academic test, I found that I was very poor in using academic vocabulary and I always made mistakes in grammar. I realized that I should improve my writing skills seriously in order to increase my overall score. It was challenging for me because improving the skills of writing in English was not easy for international students. Chinese writing skills like the use of grammar is totally different from others. To overcome this learning challenge, I begun to participate in online courses about developing writing strategies and skills on IELTS Academic test and used a social media tool, called “Duolingo” to practice the use of English vocabulary and grammar.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

From this week’s reading, I realized that I had used many learning strategies to improve my writing skills for that academic test. For example, the use of the social media tool, “Duolingo”, in improving English vocabulary is based on the learning theory, “Cognitivism”. This learning strategy focuses more on the mental process, such as thinking, knowing, memory, and problem-thinking. This tool helped me to learn new academic vocabulary in English and review the knowledge I had learned before through relevant educational games. Moreover, during the learning process, I spent a lot of time on practicing the use of grammars in English writing and I took lots of short quizzes in online courses to assess myself and improve my grammar. In the online course I took, the instructor also gave us direct instruction about the writing strategies. I think this learning process is based on the learning strategy of “Behaviorism”.

Based on my own learning experience, I think the learning strategies will be useful and important in English language teaching and learning.

 

Reference:

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43-71. Retrieved from: https://edtechbooks.org/lidtfoundations/behaviorism_cognitivism_constructivism

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