For this weeks blog, I wanted to just spend a few minutes reflecting on the whirlwind that has been this master’s program so far. I felt that spending a little time going back over some of my previous ideas and blog posts would help to clarify where I have been and where I may be headed next. I was especially curious to look back at some of my original research questions in order to see how and if they had changed. As I reflect over the last few months, it has become evident to me that the engagement piece is where my passion lies. I do believe that when students engage, both the student and teacher benefit. I have also come to connect deeply with some of the findings in previous research connected to the tie between in class and out of class engagement. Going forward I would like to continue to build and develop this by creating meaningful and engaging in class activities that connect to out of class activities. I began this week with my Grade 9 class through the utilization of a flipped learning assignment where students read and answered questions prior to class, allowing for us to use the class time to actively work on creating a structured paragraph connected to the reading.  I felt like this really allowed the students to have the time to learn to structure a formal written response with teacher guidance and immediate feedback that would not have been possible without the completion of the assignment ahead of time. Each student was able to, by the end of class, create a well-structured and well-supported paragraph! A success in my books 🙂

Moving on, these are the research questions I posted last year. My thoughts on them now have been added in, in blue.

Blog List of Research Questions.

How do I create meaningful learning in an online (Moodle) environment?Based on the research I looked at the use of social media or other social constructs may be one way. I wonder how I might build these structures within the courses. I wonder about building community within these courses?

Other things I have looked at and considered: AI as a tool to engage and flipped learning. 

Can the use of animations create higher levels of student participation?Again, this could be connected to the use of social media and may even be used as a scaffolding tool. Students could start with animation and them once they have built skills and confidence, could move away from the animation.

I am still curious about this and wonder how this might work as a means to perhaps have students collaborate outside of class time as well.  I am reminded of the class discussion on the value of synchronous class time and wonder how this could be used here. 

Can the use of social media increase student participation and engagement in online and blended classes? This may be possible as the research demonstrated an increase in engagement with the use of technology. This use of social media, as pervasive technology, may also increase engagement. This engagement may lead to higher levels of participation and may lead to higher level of creativity.

The biggest issue and hurdle here is privacy. I now believe that there are many other means to increase engagement that are not connected to social media. 

Can teacher presence increase student engagement in online classes?Again, this could connect to the use of social media or other tools like pod casts or vodcasts.

Absolutely! I have come to realize just how important this it!  It can be as simple as messaging a student and responding to messages promptly. I also suppose timely feedback on assignments would add further teacher presence as well. 

How can I create a community with my online learners? Again, this is connected to social media and other tools that create opportunities to collaborate with others. I wonder what this might look like…

I still wonder about this…..those who are only online could perhaps take place in some synchronous learning…..now that I have more Grade12 students taking English to graduate early, perhaps this might be something to look at. This sounds like a spring project to try and tackle.

What is the best way to implement cross-curricular/inquiry projects/project based learning?  This is a project in the works that may come to unfold…hopefully… in the fall of 2020. I will keep you posted. 

 

And….thats all folks! Again, comments and feedback are always appreciated 🙂