Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mini~Course Reflection


I have always wanted to encourage instructors in my school to create a program website for their classes. Knowing the benefits this would have for the teachers, students, parents and indeed the entire school community, I conducted a survey to know how the idea would be received. I discovered that most instructors welcome the idea but worry that they lack the necessary technology skills to do so. They just do not see themselves able to build and manage a website. Therefore, I decided to use this opportunity to create a mini~course that would be responsive to their concerns by showing them how simple creating a Google site can be. You really do not need advanced technology skills.


My learners will first explore the benefits of Google site as an effective educational tool. They will be able to educate their colleagues on the advantages of using classroom sites. Realizing how effective this tool can be in the classroom will motivate interest in learning how to create it. This is my second goal for this course. Learners will be able to create a classroom website and incorporate rich media such as videos and photos to it. Finally, they would control who can view their class site.


The mini~course is about teaching and learning with and about Google sites, so I consider it appropriate to use it as my delivery platform. Google sites have all the flexibility that I want for my course. The interface is good for collaborating and connecting with learners. Most importantly, it is good practice for my learners to see and connect the theoretical knowledge they are gaining, to a practical knowledge-able experience through learning with Google sites. This is a clear example of "learning by doing". I also incorporated YouTube tutorials so my learners would see and possible practice alongside with it.


In exploring all the big four learning theories, I find myself leaning towards constructivist theory. I am a believer that learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge. My mini~course was guided by the following constructivist principles:

  1. "Instruction must be concerned with the experience and contexts that makes the student willing and able to learn." This is why I started with examining the benefits of Google sites. If my learners realize that having a class website would actually make their work easier and more effective, they will be motivated to learn more about how to create one. 
  2. "Instruction must be structured so that it can be easily grasped by the student." I already know that my learners are apprehensive because they feel that they lack the necessary technology skills to create a website. My lesson then alleviates this by being simple and ordered so as to make the process smooth and straightforward. I also provided opportunities to practice as we learn because the best way for students to learn is for them to actively participate in the learning process. 

My lesson incorporated the ADDIE model in it's design. Here is a step-by-step breakdown.

Analysis Phase: I identified my learners and proceeded to establish the need for program websites and it's effectiveness as a tool for education. I surveyed my learners for existing constraints and found out their apprehension about lack of technology skills. 

Design Phase: The learning objective is to have my learners create their own Google site. I developed a systematic and specific set of strategies targeted for attaining this goal; first, explore the benefits, then go ahead and show how it can be done with minimal technology skills. 

Development Phase: Here is where I created the course and the individual units aimed at addressing the information I gathered from the analysis and design phases. This becomes my solution to the performance gap uncovered. 

Implementation Phase: The course is then delivered using Google site platform. This gives learners a practical sense of learning. This is the actual training of the staff on Google site because learning is doing. "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand" ---Confucius

Evaluation Phase: This phase has two aspects: Formative evaluation which occurs throughout the process of implementation specifically, at the end of each unit. Summative evaluation comes at the end of the course and measures the new skill gained by learners to determine if the performance objective was achieved. Learners were required to show their new skill by the Google site they created.

Thanks for reading through my reflection and here is the Classroom Google Site Lesson. 

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