Iwona & Briar's Design Principle #oldsmooc_wk4
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10 February 2013
In the interest of saving time, Iwona and I have decided to create this activity together. We actually have different 'Dreams', Iwona is interested in P2P and I am interested in evaluating informal online learning. However, we do work together in the real world and have the same audience in mind.
We work with newcomers to Canada who are interested in improving their language skills. Broad generalization, their learning motivation is settlement (securing employment, housing, community participation...). Our service is at no cost to participants. Participants have a range of learning options (online modules, lessons, weekly tips, drop-in synchrounous classes, 4 week classes). Learners login to a customized learning management system (LMS) to access resources. The LMS has a discussion board, goal setting and tracking feature, self-assessements, portfolio of language samples and a Journal.
Our model is self-directed, non-credit, informal, with no requirement for completion of any activity (hmm...sound familiar).
Since our learners are already engaging in a journal we have decided to look at Journal Organization as our feature, which is connected to: Encourage Reflection and Establish a generalized inquiry process.
Our Journal already has a date, space for reflection, reflection of time spent on practise, reference to a learning goal, and language skill they were practising (will try and get a screen capture of this).
We spend alot of time at the beginning of the registration process orienting learners to the different options available to them. The Journal is covered during Orientation, and our instructors can send messages to learners thru the Journal. However, writing in the Journal is not required. Also the Journal is not P2P, only self or instructor.
The activity that we are considering that we currently do not do is: preparing the learner for P2P engagement by asking the learner to reflect on the target language in the Journal before P2P activity. This will possibly solve an issue of reluctance of learners to partner in P2P activities.
This 'pre' activity is learner to self, learner to instructor. The instructor can provide feedback, encouragement, suggestions, correction and further course of action to practise language skills.
Question: Our ratio is 1:200+ (instructor:learner); how can an instructor respond to 200 entries. Does this activity make sense in an online self-directed model? Is it enough that the learner reflects on target language independently before P2P? How do we measure or evaluate the learning from this activity?