Ways and Means to Designing an Effective Online Class

Reflection for Week 6


by Aleta May

for EDTE674 with Dr. Lee Graham


1.  I got a lot from reading Thomas’s post and watching the video clip related to it.

            Thomas’s video clip was very helpful.  Making a Khan Style Video (KSV).  First, the teacher should have a conversational tone, like in a face-2-face (F2F) conversation.  Non-conversational styles that are highly scripted and emotionless and polished with voice over are difficult for students to relate to.   I want to add to this, that I believe a video using the think-aloud strategy would be a great example of making thinking visible by going over how the student should approach a new skill taught to them in a conversational tone.  Talking above (teaching so rapidly they don’t “get” the material that is assumed the student already knows).  Talking below is very condescending.  I have experienced both, and believe that most of us have. 

Further, it is important to use visuals so that the auditory and visual lesson can connect in the student’s mind better. The use of colors and diagramming was mentioned in this video.  Colors communicate messages quickly, and often help to anchor the learning into the student’s long-term memory.  Preparation (prepare your mind); visualize the concept to be taught ahead of time, and speak from the heart.  Writing an outline can help prepare the mind.  If a script is used by the teacher, it should be a tool to help reengage into the topic/concept.  Otherwise, the script becomes teacher notes that are passed along to the student, and neither teacher nor student really thinks about the notes.  The teacher needs to process this through their thoughts.  One reason this resonates with me, is that I have often taught this way, but felt I was falling below what was expected of me; until I noticed that my evaluations went best when I used the notes as a tool to get me back on track, and I spoke naturally.  Students visibly respond well to me when I do this.  And this is F2F.  When teaching virtually, where I may not be seen, I have just cut off a major part of communication—body language, including facial expression. 

Length of time needs to be chunked.  During one of my video produced lessons for classes I took, we were given a time limit of 5 minutes.  Then we posted this for others in our class to evaluate.  Editing the lesson to that short amount of time was difficult!  However, when I watched video clips, 5 minutes seemed just right.  Usually a mini lesson in person can go on up to 15 minutes maximum.  But an online lesson should be between 5 and 10 minutes.  The audience needs to be considered as well.  It is easier for the student to review the video segments when lessons are broken into segments.  In Chapter 5 of our text, 15 to 20 minute segments of time could be used to create 6 segments of time for a 90 minute classroom session (Moore & Kearsley, 2012).  A short video clip can be presented to the student, with an activity that follows.  Then another clip may be used paired with another activity. 

Related to making a KSV, is the Mastery Model for a flipped classroom.  In a blended learning classroom, teachers use online delivery and F2F facilitated activity learning to teach.  The computer may be used with program related to the class.  Or, the teacher may record his/herself teaching the lesson like the KSV, and the student can use the short lesson recording to review learning.  Another advantage is letting the student choose this as an option, or a link to a website that can teach the content in another way, or they might use the textbook or library book (Bergmann & Sams, 2012).  In the case where lectures are recorded, students who were absent can watch it at a later time.  


2.  Chapter 5

On page 107, there is a link provided for writing study guides.  I think this would be helpful to apply to each module:  tdu.massey.ac.nz/IDTsite/Print/templates/guidelineswritingstudyguide.pdf

On page 3 of the guide template, I especially like the suggestions section. 

Interwoven into course design is Maslow’s taxonomy of learning.  Below is a chart adapted from Stavredes & Herder (2014, p. 37):

Cognitive (Knowledge)
Facts and Concepts:
•Skills (including psychomotor)
•~~Critical Thinking
•~~Problem Solving
•Affective (attitude)
•”changes in interest, attitudes, and values, and the appreciations and adequate adjustment” (Stavredes & Herder, p. 38)

How to Organize Learning Outcome Statements.

  1. The skills, knowledge, attitudes column, should be added to each key themes.
  2. In the purpose column, write how the skills, knowledge, and attitudes are valuable to the learner.
  3. In the real-world column, connect any specific information about ways the learner can relate learning to their lives.
  4. In the active verb column, use an active verb connected to the other information in the row; this reminds me of writing special education goals and objectives.

I adapted the chart shown in the Appendix, because helps me to visualize our grades 9-12 standards in a practical way.


From:  (Stavredes & Herder, 2014).


3.  What did I contribute to the class?


Although there are no comments shown in my post, Dan told me that finding the legal limits for copyright laws for distance learning classes.  The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH), passed in 2002, was very helpful to me.  And as Dan with his math group use a variety of books and sources to build explanations to how to complete problems, having this pointed out to him from the text brought to his mind how they could use materials for their online course design.  In my initial post, I believe I contributed to class discussion when I gave an explanation of how communication or conversations in our class has gone.  Also, as I shared a graphic I found about ADDIE, I think it made the reading from Chapter 5 easier to understand.  Just like this graphic organizer helps me to learn, it helps people in our class to visualize how Active Mastery Learning and ADDIE bring order to course design. 


When Naomi posed questions:  How do we keep them engaged?  and Is the reading material we choose going to prove to be too mature? I believe I helped to answer her with an example from a study of how the computer reading assignments were scaffolded in a PowerPoint for students to click through, with a vocabulary function over words.  Scaffolding relates to the concept of chunking we read about this week as well. 





Bergmann, J. and Sams, A. (2012).  Flip your classroom:  Reach every student in every class every day.  Eugene, OR:  International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). 


Moore, M. G. and Kearsley, G. (2012).  Distance education:  A systems view of online learning.  Belmont, CA:  Wadsworth–Cengage Learning. 


Stavredes, T. and Herder, T. (2014).  A guide to online course design:  Strategies for Student Success. San Francisco, CA   Jossey-Bass.



Online References


Outcome Statements Draft:  http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-819801.html




Outcome Statements Draft


Active Verb

Skills, Knowledge, Attitudes



(standards and learner connections)

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