Week 9 679

Essential Question: How do you currently infuse play into your class? How might you change this as a result of some of the ideas you have encountered?

I do not currently infuse too much play into the classroom. When I do, I use games such as Kahoot and geography games to review for a quiz. I have also printed out maps of a continent and had students get into groups and keep score to study for a quiz. Other than that, I do not use games in my classroom.

My perceptions of gaming in the classroom have changed, and I feel prepared to experiment with integrating more games into my curriculum. This last platform that we learned about, ClassCraft, is one example of something I have encountered in this class that I am excited to try out.

“Badges and items are successful when they are created with purpose. They will boost your game in terms of interest, complexity, and flexibility, if they are designed with intention” (Matera, 2015). I first need to learn how to make badges and how to integrate them into my classroom.

I like Matera’s suggestion of a House Badge. This is when the whole class studies and tries to score 85% or higher in order to earn a badge. Matera (2015) said, “Students become motivated to work together and study hard, which leads to all of them feeling prepared and motivated for test day.”

Matera (2015) had the following suggestions to get started:

Route One: Story – Develop a list of possible names for items/ badges within the setting of your game world.

Route Two: Course / Content – Within your content, think of lessons and units that could generate badges/ items.

Route Three: Game – Are there elements within your game with which items/ badges could interact? Examples – XP: earn double XP on a side quest.

Another suggestion (Matera, 2015) suggested is:

Exploring Route One: Story – Find images that reflect your setting; watch a show or read a book to spark ideas for names of your badges.

Exploring Route Two: Course / Content – What are the moments in your class that deserve badge recognition?

Exploring Route Three: Game – Do students earn this badge? Or do students start with this badge and work not to lose it? – Do badges have a point system attached? I think this would be a lot of work and will take awhile to get use to.

I might start with simple suggestions such as these:

Mega Tic Tac Toe – Begin the game by asking a team a question.

Crocodile Dentist: This game is played in phases. Phase One: Give each team a set of questions to answer. Teams work through the answers and turn them in to the teacher. Give each team points for the correct answers. The team that gets the most right will go first in Phase Two. Phase Two: Each team sends up one member to press their luck with the Crocodile Dentist. They will earn point if the crocs mouth does not close. This sounds like a fun game that students would enjoy.

Graffiti is used to preview a unit. Instruct students to look at the pages of the new chapter and find key terms and then they will “graffiti” the terms on the board. This would be a good way to introduce some new vocabulary to students.

Matera (2015) states, “Games connect people; they inspire us to do the impossible by working together to reach our fullest potential. Game-based learning provides opportunities to take risks, to fail, and to try again with newly acquired knowledge of the content and ourselves.”

Shapiro (2014) adds, “Play is useful because it simulates real life experience — physical, emotional, and/or intellectual — in a safe, iterative and social environment, not because it has winners and losers.” In one study, “65 percent of teachers note that lower-performing students show increased engagement with [gaming] content, versus only 3 percent who show a decrease.” Sharing and collaboration go hand-in-hand and it is the way students play and learn today that will determine ways they will work tomorrow (Shapiro, 2014).

If I tried a few of the ideas that I have encountered here, I think I would see a difference in the way students are learning. By tapping into games and incorporating this kind of new method into my classroom, I can help my students be more engaged and excited about learning. I want them to enjoy learning, and if games can help that, then I am willing to try.

References

Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Kindle Edition.

Shapiro, J. (2014). Games in The Classroom: What The Research Says. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/27/games-in-the-classroom-what-the-research-says/

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Week 9 674

Essential Question: What lessons can we take from Global Distance Learning Efforts?

Looking at countries around the world, we can see what others are doing to expand distance education and take some lessons away from them. One thing becomes clear: other countries are investing in education, and distance education in particular, at a much higher level than our country.

The European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) holds conferences every two years, supports the European Journal of Open Distance and E-Learning (EURODL), and contributes to research and development projects across Europe (Moore, 2011).

Moore writes about several distance learning programs outside the U.S. For example, the United Kingdom Open University (UKOU), the UK’s first open university,

  • is a premier model of distance education in the world;
  • is one of the largest single-mode institutions;
  • has earned the highest grade assessments from the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education’s Institutional Audit;
  • in 2010, rated among the top three Higher Education Institutions in the UK for student satisfaction, maintaining its position at the forefront of the National Student Survey ratings since it began in 2005;
  • is organized into 10 English regions, all of which, among other things, manage local study centers, monitor instructors, and have immediate oversight of student progress;
  • is home to a laboratory for the study of new technology that houses some 80 researchers, technologists, and designers;
  • started the Institute of Educational Technology, which conducts research into aspects of distance education, offers advice in the use of technology to support learning, and provides educational and professional development for staff. (Moore, 2011)

In Japan, national policy “was formulated in 2006 in the government’s New Reform Strategy on Information Technology, which set out to double the proportion (14.6 percent in 2006) of faculties and departments in higher education institutions that provide distance education” (Moore, 2011). According to Komiko Aoki (quoted in Moore, 2011), a 2008 survey of Japanese institutions found

  • 90 percent of universities providing distance education still send printed materials by post to students;
  • 30 percent allow direct contact from students to professors, and it may take a few days or even a week until the former receives answers from the latter;
  • 90 percent of universities conduct traditional pencil-and-paper tests requiring examinees’ physical attendance; and
  • fewer than 40 percent have full-time staff exclusively providing technical support.

In Korea, since the mid-1990s, “governmental policy has been based on recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Education Reform (1997) which dictated that high priority be given to applications of communications technology for learning across the lifespan. Success led to the passing of a law in 2001 to govern the establishment of what became called cyber universities” (Moore, 2011).

Brazil’s education and training are rated highly among national, state, and local policies and plans, and the distance education component is overseen by a special unit within the Ministry of Education, called the Secretariat of Distance Education. In that country, according to Moore (2011),

  • 20 % of the institutions are publicly funded, with free tuition;
  • 80 % are private, about 10 % religious;
  • changes are occurring under PROFORMACAO, “A nationwide project to provide training for unqualified elementary school teachers, most of whom are to be found in rural schools in the most underdeveloped parts of this huge country. The program was under way between 1999 and 2004 and successfully trained over 30,000 teachers. It is an excellent example of a systems approach” (Moore, 2011).

According to Moore (2011), in Finland and Norway, among the richest countries in the world, education is given high priority in national policy. The Finnish Ministry of Education reports that half of the working population is engaged in some form of continuing education. The Norwegian government was one of the first in the world with a national policy to support distance education, with related laws passed as long ago as 1948.

As Moore (2011) also writes, “Almost all college and higher education in Australia is federally funded, the government exerts considerable influence on the direction and development of distance education programs.”

Meanwhile, here in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Education, Expectations for students and school systems continue to rise while many states face the toughest financial challenges of recent history. It will mean graduating a significantly greater number of students—with higher levels of mastery and expertise—at a lower cost per outcome. This will require leaders at every level—from the classroom to the statehouse—to work together to rethink the policies, processes, tools, business models, and funding structures that have been ingrained in our education system for decades.” https://www.ed.gov/oii-news/increasing-educational-productivity

Darling-Hammond (2015) notes: “Our college participation rates have slipped from 1st in the world to 16th. Meanwhile in many European and some Asia countries more than half are becoming college graduates.” With our college participation rate declining, this country needs to do more to educate its citizens.  We have a lot of work ahead, but if we, make education a priority, take some of the ideas mentioned from the other countries, and work together, we can raise the number of people seeking higher education in the U.S. As countries are finding out around the world, distance education will increasingly play a key role in making higher education available to the greatest possible number of students.

References

Aoki, K. (2008). The 2008 survey results of ICT use by distance education programs in Japanese colleges and universities. Tokyo. NIME Research Report 41.

Darling-Hammond, L. (2015). The flat world and education: How America’s commitment to equity will determine our future. Teachers College Press.

Moore, M. (2011). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning, 3rd Edition. Retrieved October 12, 2016.

U.S. Department of Education. (2016). Increasing Educational Productivity.  Retrieved October 29, 2016, from https://www.ed.gov/oii-news/increasing-educational-productivity

Week 8 Journal

Week 8 Journal 679

This week our essential question was “Which aspects of story and game mechanics will be useful in your class and how might you use them? I say, I was a little overwhelmed by this, since I don’t know much about games. There was so much that Matera offered, it’s hard to know where to begin. I think I would start with the story mode with themes, setting, characters, and conflict. Students can relate to this, as most have some experience with writing in a Language Arts class. I would start small until I got my feet on the ground, like making badges. I think it will take some time to learn but, once I do, the students will be excited and engaged in the lesson that we would be working on.

In responding to others’ blogs, Sarah has a great start to her unit. I like what she quoted here, from Matera: “These mechanics work together to build a custom experience that, when combined, lead to memorable moments in your class.” This is what we want for our students. I wonder about showing the ranks in class. If a student is not doing well, I wonder how that would make them feel. I know some will be motivated but some it may discourage. I will just see how it goes if I try this in my class. Along those same lines, Gerald made the good suggestion to opt out of leaderboards. Some students may not like to have their name posted. I also worry about kids who don’t see their name posted. How will that make them feel?

Kate made a good point here: “Knowing and understanding the needs and motivators of your students is critical.” This is so true! It you don’t know what motivates them, then they are not going to be engaged. It is important to find out what gamer type you have in your classroom as well. She made great points!

Heather has started on a wonderful unit. I wondered if she has experience with games before in her class. I would love to try one, but I am not experienced and don’t yet even know how to create badges to anything like that. It just seems a little overwhelming for me. I know once I learn more, I will get used to it. This is always the case with me and new methods. It is a learning process that I have to go through with the students.

It has been a great week, and I have learned about a new platform, ClassCraft. I am thinking of trying this with one class in particular that has some issue with talking. I wonder if I tried this out on them if it would work. Again this is new, and I am learning as I go. All I know is I can always try it out and, if it doesn’t work, at least I gave it a shot. If it does, then maybe I will see a turnaround in some of my students with this type of motivator.

I look forward to the other presentations that we are going to have, as well as learning how I can use new methods in my classroom.

Week 8 Reflection 674

Week 8 Reflection 674

This week our essential question was “What would you require of instructors who taught a course you designed? Why?” I would require an instructor to either take the class beforehand or to go through the class with me. This way, the instructor will be able to ask questions and get clarification from me. It will also give the instructor some sense of what the students will be experiencing and provide information on how to respond to learners’ questions. Moore and Boettcher also had some great ideas that I would recommend to follow as well to create a smooth course for the instructor and students.

In responding to others’ blogs, Teresa mentioned two great requirements: good organizational and technology skills. I think both of these are must-haves! I read that, with most online courses, you have to do your own problem solving with technology. So organization is essential. She also mentioned Boettcher’s ten best practices for teaching online, which are also very useful.

Amy had a great idea to set up a training course and have teachers walk through the class they would teach and become familiar with both the content and method of delivery. I also like how she mentioned she would like to focus on getting the instructors comfortable with the three types of interaction that are imperative to online learning success: Learner-Content Interaction, Learner-Instruction Interaction, and Learner-Learner Interaction. These three communication pairs provide a clear way to understand the way learning occurs in an online course.

Dan made a great point here: “There is one variable though that can affect the success or failure of the online experience and that is whether or not the instructor has the technical capabilities to troubleshoot technology barriers as they arise, and regardless of the bombproof nature of the course or the platform, technical difficulties will arise and they will come up in the middle of the instruction.” I know from experience that this is so very true. If you don’t have tech support, you will soon be out of luck. So that was a good point!

Genevieve mentioned several pieces that are important to track when teaching an online course: content management, student progress, learner support, and course effectiveness. In addition, the instructor should create a student contact spreadsheet, which could include, phone numbers, email addresses, and blog rolls. They should be in contact with the students, so will need to be able to contact them quickly.

It was a great week of interacting with others. This next week, our group has to present on Chapter 11 in our reading. I look forward to working with my group to create and deliver a presentation next week. It has been a very busy but productive week, and I look forward to what this next week has to offer.

Week 8 679

Week Eight Essential Question: Which aspects of story and game mechanics will be useful in your class and how might you use them?

Choosing a theme is the first step in gamification and will set the tone for the lesson, unit, or even the year ahead. Theme is the frame of your story, and it provides the backdrop for activities, items, badges, and challenges (Matera, 2012).

This will be your unit that you want to study with your class.

The setting is where all parts of the story come together and the players get specific details about the world. Setting is one part location and two parts description as we create a world that awakens the imagination (Matera, 2012).

After you have your theme and setting you will need characters. Characters drive the game. They are what your students become— the heroes they cheer on and the villains from which they run (Matera, 2012).

Every good story needs some action or conflict. You can have students create stories about a theme that you are exploring. Students can write a paper using theme, setting, character, and action or conflict. I think some students would really enjoy creating their own story.

Siring (2012) said, “Gamification at the basic level involves concepts of games to motivate and engage our audience.” He goes on to say that we need to understand that gamification is not about gaming but, about understanding the tools and motivators we see in games and bringing those in the classroom to engage students.

Some other concepts that Matera talks about would also be useful in the classroom.  I like how he talked about having each student type out a standard résumé that lists their strengths as well as their areas for growth— but they don’t put their name on it. Leaders then would look at the list and choose their teams by their strengths. I think this is a wonderful idea, because it would replace students being picked because they are friends or popular with them being picked on the basis of what they can do.  Another good concept that I liked is when students formed TAC or Teach, Advise, Coach models. I think this would be a great motivator so students are not missing any work. I like how he set up a challenge between the different classes. I think that would motivate some students. I think using badges may be a great idea as well but would need to learn how to make them.

There is a lot that I still need to learn about game mechanics. Some of the wording is new to me since I do not play games. I think starting easy with stories and badges would be a great start and then, when I feel more comfortable with these concepts, adding more to the classroom. I think when I do students will be motivated and excited to learn and be in my class. Not only will they be learning but I will be as well.

References

Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Kindle Edition.

Siering, G. (2012). Gamification: Using Game-like Elements to Motivate and Engage Students. Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://citl.indiana.edu/news/newsStories/dir-mar2012.php.

 

Week 8 674

Essential Question: What would you require of instructors who taught a course you designed? Why?

I would require an instructor to either take the class beforehand or to go through the class with me. This way, the instructor will be able to ask questions and get clarification from me. It will also give the instructor some sense of what the students will be experiencing and provide information on how to respond to learners’ questions. I would be careful to model the appropriate language and teaching techniques for the instructor.

Moore (2012) has some good suggestions that I would want the teacher to follow, as well:

  1. Humanizing- using students’ names, providing pictures, and asking for personal experiences and opinions.
  2. Participation- high level of interaction and dialogue; blogs and wikis are a resources for this purpose.
  3. Message style- good communication techniques.
  4. Feedback- from participants about their progress.

Boettcher (2013) mentioned 10 best practices that would be helpful of an instructor. I would be sure the teacher had these available and would hope the teacher would be willing to follow them.

Best Practice 1: Be Present at the Course. Let students know when you can respond to them. Let them know you will respond in 24 hrs or less.

Best Practice 2: Create a supportive online course community design a course with a balanced set of dialogues.

Best Practice 3: Share a set of very clear expectations for your students and for yourself as to (1) how you will communicate and (2) how much time students should be working each week and (3) expectations for how students communicate  online and how they communicate with you.

Best Practice 4: Use a variety of group and individual work.

Best Practice 5: Use both synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Best Practice 6: Early in the term, ask for informal feedback on how the course is going. Ask for suggestions so corrections and modifications can be made if needed.

Best Practice 7: Prepare discussion posts that invite questions, discussions, reflections, and responses.

Best Practice 8: Focus on content resources and applications and links to current events and examples that can be easily accessed from learners’ computers.

Best Practice 9: Combine core concept learning with personalized learning. Build in options and choices in assignments.

Best Practice 10:  Plan a good closing and wrap activity for the course. End-of-course experiences often include student presentations, summaries and analyses. (Boettcher 2013).

Some other management strategies are to:

Handle it once

•Email – in a specific folder before closing them.

•Discussions – make note of important contributions while reading discussion postings. Keep a gradesheet hard copy handy.

•Assignments – make notes or grade assignments as they arrive. Add to the filename so that it is immediately clear which items have been graded.

•Focused Thinking – This chart by Learning Fundamentals is helpful for all online instructors in the age of distraction.

distractions

Respond to student questions – Try to respond to students questions within 24 hours or less.

Get organized – All documents for a class should be in one folder on the computer; Create an online course calendar with due dates and deadlines. Post it in a central location in the course management system where it’s easy for students to check each day.

Stay focused – Handle email at specific times each day and don’t be tempted to check it at other times. Take breaks.

Establish email and file naming protocols and train students – Make sure student have an appropriate email address.

Use a quiz or scavenger hunt to explain class policies and make sure students understand.

Organize the discussion forums – If the class size is sixteen or more students, create groups of eight students where students can discuss and interact. This will create less reading for everyone.

Use the right tools – Use a flash drive or other portable storage to backup the hard drive, and remember to back up the flash drive as well.

Work smarter, not harder, at grading – Use rubrics to make grading easier.

Know Thyself – Each person has a daily cycle when he or she is most alert; schedule that time for online work. Record notes each week in a teaching journal identifying thoughts about revisions for the next semester.

(Lehmann & Chamberlin 2015)

I think if an instructor follows some of the above suggestions, then not only will the students have a successful term but the instructor will as well.  I think every instructor who is going to teach a course should go through some type of training and have a checklist to follow, because it will be helpful to them and make things go more smoothly than not having a plan at all.

References

Boettcher, J. (2013). Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online. Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://designingforlearning.info/services/writing/ecoach/tenbest.html

Lehmann, K., & Chamberlin, L. (2015). Time Management Strategies for Online Instructors. Retrieved October 23, 2016, from https://www2.uwstout.edu/content/profdev/rubrics/time_management.html

Week 7 Journal 679

Week 7 Journal 679

Our Essential Question this week was “How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?” Mr. Matera taught his students qualities that highly successful people have in common, which include confidence, creativity, enthusiasm, effort, focus, resilience, initiative, curiosity, dependability, and empathy. I think these are great words to use in your classroom and to teach your students to change the way they think about learning.

In the article titled “Engaging Students in Learning,” it is said that “Research has demonstrated that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills and promotes meaningful learning experiences. Instructors who adopt a student-centered approach to instruction increase opportunities for student engagement, which then helps everyone more successfully achieve the course’s learning objectives.”

In responding to others’ blogs, Matt wrote about Growth Mind Set. Another classmate mentioned this in their blog. I had forgotten that our school worked with this last year with our students and will be doing so again this year. We need to teach our students that our brain is a muscle and we need to work it. I really like the Growth Mind Set video that Matt shared. I have emailed it to myself so I can share with others at my school and show the students.

Kate made a great point when she said “I work hard to show them how failures are actually successes because they teach us something.” Students need to understand that sometimes they will fail because we all fail at times, but the thing is that you don’t give up; you keep trying until you get it right.

Gerald mentioned the ten common qualities that Matera describes successful people having. I think these are great words to teach our students. I agreed, these words can help us convey to students what it means to have purpose in learning.  I like what he said here, “We have not had a chance to teach students how to learn, and to enjoy learning.  I believe the one stigma that needs to change in our educational system is to allow students to fail.” This is true and I also believe that if we had more games in the classroom the students would see that failing is part of life, so it’s important not to give up and to keep trying.

Sarah echoed these great qualities from the readings: Confidence, Creativity, Enthusiasm, Effort, Focus, Resilience, Initiative, Curiosity, Dependability, and Empathy. I also believe that by putting emphasis on these traits in the classroom we can shift the focus of learning to beyond the classroom. What she said here is so very true: “If we want students to accept a new way of learning, then we need to teach them the language of that learning. We can’t expect students to automatically know the learning language that we, as teachers, are just becoming more comfortable with.”

I look forward to the next presentation on ClassCraft, which that a few of my classmates will be giving. I have never heard of ClassCraft so am excited to learn something new and see if and how I might incorporate it into my classroom. It has been a busy week, and I look forward to learning new material and interacting with my classmates in the week ahead.

Week 7 Reflection

Week 7 Reflection 674

Our essential question this week was “How can we support students in being successful in our online course?”

There are many things we can do to support a student to be successful in an online course. The first thing is to make sure to have the course material posted before the course begins. This way the student can go through the syllabus and see if they have any questions.

Another good plan is from St. Pierre and Olsen (1991), who found the following factors contribute to student satisfaction in independent study courses: (1) the opportunity to apply knowledge, (2) prompt return of assignments, (3) conversations with the instructor, (4) relevant course content, and (5) a good study guide (Moore, 2012). I think these are great ideas that will help a student be successful in any online course.

In responding to others’ blogs, Teresa mentioned a good book: “101 Answers for New Teachers and Their Mentors: Effective Teaching Tips for Daily Classroom Use.” I really like the points she mentioned:

• Recognize the importance of your influence.

•Realize that you will affect lives.

•Remember your most favorite and least favorite teachers and learn from them.

•Refuse to give up on any child.

I think this is wonderful advice. I know sometimes I want to give up on a child if I  see the child is not trying or doesn’t seem to care. I need to remember this, because I do affect their lives and can make a difference. If they see I am not giving up them, they may try to work harder for me.

Sara made me think about my online course. She suggested to “Think projects and big ideas. Get creative. The students will be more engaged, and you’ll feel more fulfilled as a teacher.” This is excellent advice. Another great idea she offered is to ask for informal feedback on how the course is going, and to ask students if they have any suggestions to improve the course. If you need to, you can change things up. This will also give the students the sense that they have a voice in what they are learning. The last advice is great as well: plan a closing activity. This is good because most students will be stressed or tired from working all quarter and will be ready for a break. I like presenting projects!

I agreed with her that I wouldn’t be able to further my degree as well, without distance learning. Online courses give me the freedom to still take classes while I am working, which benefits me and my students.

Amy made a comparison that I liked. She said that a online course is like walking into unknown land; we need to navigate the students through it. That is a good comparison especially for someone who is new to online courses. She made another good point: “To help our students understand where we are going, we have to break down the course into manageable sections.” That is the key word: manageable. Some students will get overwhelmed if you do not break it down.

Josie made this important observation: “Online classes are not for everyone. Students must understand that they must be organized and most importantly be self-motivated.” This is very true. If they are not the kind of person who can work independently and still get work done, they will likely not be successful in an online course. I like the phases Josie mentioned, taken from Debbie Morrison (2016), to help keep online students motivated:

Phase 1: Guiding

Phase 2: Encouraging

Phase 3: Monitoring

It was a good week of classes and a great presentation from my classmates on planning for student success. I just wish that they shared this presentation with us, because I think there were a lot of good points in it that would be helpful to look back at. I will have to ask, when I see a good presentation, if we can get a copy or download it or something. Looking forward to this week and interacting with my classmates!

Reference

Morrison, D. (2012). Five-step Strategy for Student Success with Online Learning. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/five-step-strategy-for-student-success-with-online-learning/

Week 7 679

Essential Question: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?

“His class helped us develop skills and passions that we will have the rest of our lives. I speak for my whole grade when I say that Mr. Matera changed the way we learn and inspired us to do more in and out of the classroom. Mr. Matera made my classmates and me want to come to school.” This is a quote from one of Mr. Matera’s students about his class.

Whatever the language you want to use, it’s important to remain consistent. He taught his students qualities that highly successful people have in common: confidence, creativity, enthusiasm, effort, focus, resilience, initiative, curiosity, dependability, and empathy and then used these words to define and drive what he calls Purpose-Driven Learning (Matera, 2015).

Confidence– As students get older, encouraging them to take risks. Their confidence will grow as they take chances. Let them know that they will sometimes not succeed the first time but to keep trying.

Creativity-The future belongs to those who can apply knowledge in new and innovative ways.

Enthusiasm– “When several of my students show up ready and determined, the entire feel of the class changes. “Beyond succeeding in the classroom, effort is important to every area of life, which makes this attribute one of the most important we can instill in our students” (Matera, 2015).

Focus– Focus requires intention and practice. Mr. Matera found he needed to remind his students need of this skill all of the time. I find that I have to remind my students as well.

Resilience- We need to help students understand that they learn as much, if not more, from their failures as they do their successes. “Teaching students that the word fail really stands for First Attempt In Learning is a great first step. Helping kids understand that learning is a process, we provide them with a chance to be explorers and encourage them to attempt to set sail (Second Attempt In Learning)”(Matera, 2015).

Resilience is more than just perseverance. Perseverance is about hard work and strong effort, while resilience is about adapting and overcoming obstacles. Students need to realize there will be times when it will be hard but they will overcome it if they don’t give up.

Initiative- Students instantly understand that taking initiative is the way to go if they want to win. They need to understand to get something done they need to take the steps forward to succeed.

Curiosity- Sparking curiosity sets the mind on fire. If we can connect our students’ passions to our content, we will ignite their drive to learn. Teaching students to be okay with this endless cycle of listen, process, ask, and repeat will empower them with confidence to explore.

Dependability- Students need to learn how to depend on each other. The more they work together and get to know and draw upon one another’s strengths, the better they do.

Empathy- We need to teach students how to be more inclusive, how to respond to other students’ questions, and how to build healthy relationships with one another. These are great words to use with your students to change the way they think about learning.

Holland (2016) would test her students and, based on the students’ answers, assign a weight in four separate categories: Socializer, Achiever, Explorer, or Killer. She says, “I use these results to inform how I make groups and how I ask kids to collaborate. It offers useful insight into how students will react in different situations, and also provides a starting point for me at the beginning of the semester.” I think this would be interesting to see how it would go. I would like to see how the groups act in this situation.

“I’ve found that understanding my students’ reasons for playing also provides insight into how they learn” (Matera, 2015). I talked about these gamer types last week in my paper. I will just point out how they are in class.

In your class, Achievers want to know they are doing well. Socializers in your class are also looking for meaningful relationships to be formed during the game.

Explorers will start the exploration phase by listening to the explanation of the game structure. Killers (Griefers) will be the first to talk about ways to protect and defend what their group has done. I know a few students who I know would be achievers just by the way they act and talk to me in class.

Gabe Zichermann developed the SAPS Model. SAPS stands for Status, Access, Power, and Stuff. This model is a powerful tool that can help educators to further understand what motivates their students. “The SAPS Model helps me incorporate different motivating factors to create a game-based course that ensures options for all students” (Matera, 2015).

Status- Our students need constructive feedback; they also need for us to hold up examples of excellence.

Access- People love to feel as if they’re part of something special, particularly when that access is based on conditions or accomplishments.

Power- All game players want some bit of power over the game.

“I occasionally do this by giving students choice over their projects or makeup of their work group” Matera, 2015).

Stuff -Done well, game stuff adds to the transformational experience that engages and escalates students toward becoming the best versions of themselves through exploration of the game (Matera, 2015).

These come from an article titled “Engaging Students in Learning,” which also points out that “Research has demonstrated that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills and promotes meaningful learning experiences. Instructors who adopt a student-centered approach to instruction increase opportunities for student engagement, which then helps everyone more successfully achieve the course’s learning objectives.” I think by following what Matera said and using this language in your classroom along with the SAP model and knowing your gamer type of students then you can change the way your students view learning in your classroom. If you are consistent and remind them daily of the words and meaning of these messages, then one day a student may say the same thing about your class and how it changed their life. This is what we want as teachers—to have an impact on a student and make a difference in each’s life. Following the model above moves us all closer to being able to achieve that.

 References

Engaging students in learning. (2016). Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://www.washington.edu/teaching/teaching-resources/engaging-students-in-learning/

Holland, B. (2016). Use the Four Gamer Types to Help Your Students Collaborate – from Douglas Kiang on Edudemic – EdTechTeacher. Retrieved October 13, 2016, from http://edtechteacher.org/use-the-four-gamer-types-to-help-your-students-collaborate-from-douglas-kiang-on-edudemic/

Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Kindle Edition.

Week 7 674

Essential Question: How can we support students in being successful in our online course?

There are many things we can do to support a student to be successful in our online course. The first thing is to make sure to have the course material posted before the course begins. This way the student can go through the syllabus and see if they have any questions.

Often when students start a new course online there is a level of anxiety. Students are nervous about some of the assignments or the project they will have to complete. “One of the first responsibilities of the instructor is to try to lower the level of tension.  In setting the right climate for learning, the instructor should explain that mistakes are a natural part of learning and there is no reason to fear making them, risk-taking is approved, there is no such thing as a ‘dumb question,ʼ the instructor admires and approves effort and commitment, and the instructor cares about the student being successful and will work toward that goal” (Morrison, 2011).

Other factors that will help students be successful are encouragement from employers, coworkers, friends, and family. It is also important to make sure the course is not too difficult or easy. Students need to plan their study time and develop schedules, especially if they are taking more than one course.

St. Pierre and Olsen (1991) found the following factors contributed to student satisfaction in independent study courses: (1) the opportunity to apply knowledge, (2) prompt return of assignments, (3) conversations with the instructor, (4) relevant course content, and (5) a good study guide (Moore, 2012).

Instructors must also be aware of how each student is doing. They need to monitor each individual. If they see the student is falling behind, the teacher needs to reach out to that student. Sometimes a student may not reach out for help when help is needed. The teacher should be sensitive to the studentʼs situation and be aware if something is going on in the studentʼs academic or personal life at the moment.

“In my opinion, I think online courses are actually a little harder,” writes  Lytle (2013).  He offers five tips for students to succeed in an online class.

  1. Confirm technical requirements:  Make sure your computer has the capacity to open and complete the assignments.
  2. Connect with instructors early: if you have a question about the course, ask ahead of time.

3.     Create a schedule:  Often online classes will meet a certain time, but you also

need to set time to work on assignments outside of class.

4.     Stay organized: Either keep your assignment in a folder on your computer or,

if you printed out information, in a binder.

5.     Have a consistent workspace: Students need a place to study or complete

assignments, whether that’s at a coffee shop, the school library, or at home.

(Lytle, 2013).

Morrison (2012) has suggestions for educators. He writes, “Educators have a role in students’ self-directed learning too, and that is to give the learner the responsibility of learning, expect success and be there.” Below are a few specific suggestions he offers to accomplish this:

•Outline expectations for students thoroughly. By articulating expectations and the role of the student in the course, we “give” the student the responsibility.

•Expect questions in the first two weeks of the course. This is the “syllabus blues” phase. Students require more support during this phase than any other.

•Respond promptly to student questions. The twenty-four hour rule is a good benchmark.

•Don’t expect students to know how to be self-directed, they may need to develop this skill set. Direct students to resources that support students in developing their self-direction skills. (Morrison, 2012)

By following these tips for the student and educators, your students will be more likely to be successful in your online course. We have all taken a course online and have had a course where we felt anxiety. We want our students to feel motivated, and experience success from the beginning so they will complete the course and feel confident about what they are doing along the way.

References

Lytle, R. (2013). 5 Tips to Succeed in an Online Course. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2013/01/14/5-tips-to-succeed-in-an-online-course

Moore, M. (2011). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning, 3rd Edition. Retrieved October 12, 2016.

Morrison, D. (2012). Five-step Strategy for Student Success with Online Learning. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/five-step-strategy-for-student-success-with-online-learning/