Worked Example Artifact

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My worked example on sourcing the painting, The First Thanksgiving by J.L.G. Ferris.

For our final artifact, we had to create a worked example and post the video on YouTube. Though I have made lots of screencasts before, this artifact pushed me to rethink the way I develop these videos. In my history classes, I spend an extraordinary amount of time teaching students how to think historically and analyze documents from the past using three major skills promoted by the Stanford History Education Group: sourcing, contextualization, and corroboration. After reading the chapter on segmenting and pretraining, I realized I have not done a good job structuring my teaching of these skills. Rather than teaching these skills in chunks, I often gave students a set of documents and we repeated the process each time we met, mixing the execution of the skills as we went along.

While this may have worked in my face to face courses, I have found it harder to teach these skills to my online students. However, I think this worked example may change all of that. For this assignment, I created a worked example of the sourcing skill. The video can stand alone or act as the first piece of a faded worked example which I have built in Google Docs.

Meeting the Objectives

The following AECT objectives aligned with this assignment:

  • 3.1 Creating: Candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and research-based best practices.
  • 3.2 Using: Candidates make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning based on principles, theories, and effective practices.

As mentioned in prior blog posts, this assignment meets objectives 3.1 and 3.2 because we are being asked to create real-world educational products based on multimedia theories found in the literature. In this case, we used screencasts to create a video to demonstrate an understanding of worked examples.

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Digital Story Artifact

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View my Adobe Spark video here.

For this week’s artifact, we created a digital story demonstrating the personalization principle. According to Clark & Mayer (2016), learning occurs more deeply when conversational language is used rather than formal language. To practice the implementation of the personalization principle, we were tasked with creating a digital story through a narrated video using Adobe Spark.

This assignment offered a prime opportunity to develop an artifact which highlights my approach to teaching history. I created a video that emphasizes individuality in the study of history – in other words, an exploration of how regular, everyday people can expand our understanding of the past beyond the scope of textbooks and traditional history. This is a video I can see using with my students in the first week of class.

Overall, I enjoyed using Adobe Spark. The application was easy to use with features intuitively designed. I created the entire video on my iPad for free exclusively within the Adobe Spark app. A number of publication options exist, which made sharing really easy to do. The only two criticisms I have with the tool were the limited number of themes and the inability to edit the audio, both of which are minor isssues.

Meeting the Objectives

The following AECT objectives aligned with this assignment:

  • 3.1 Creating: Candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and research-based best practices.
  • 3.2 Using: Candidates make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning based on principles, theories, and effective practices.

As mentioned in prior blog posts, this assignment meets objectives 3.1 and 3.2 because we are being asked to create real-world educational products based on multimedia theories found in the literature. In this case, we used Adobe Spark to create a digital story using conversational narration which demonstrates the personalization principle.

References

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). E-learning and the science of instruction, 4th edition. Pfeiffer: San Francisco, CA.

Coherence Analysis

This week, our class delved into the coherence principle which makes recommendations on media content to include, or exclude, based on the objectives of the learning object. We each wrote an analysis of our principle in Google Docs and provided several examples of content which abides by and violates the coherence principle. You can view my coherence analysis paper through the embedded Google Doc below or by clicking here.

Meeting the Objectives

The following AECT objectives aligned with this assignment:

  • 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates demonstrate the ability to assess and evaluate the effective integration of appropriate technologies and instructional materials.

This assignment meets the objective in two ways. First, we analyzed the coherence principle through the lens of an educator or designer creating learning artifacts. This was completed through the general discussion of the principle itself and its associations with other principles, psychology\cognitive research, and our own past experiences. The second way this objective is met is through the evaluation of an example found online at the end of the analysis. This section of the assignment requires we identify violations of the coherence principle and make recommendations for solutions, meeting the evaluation component of the objective.

Narrated Presentation

Modality & Redundancy

View our group VoiceThread here.

Over the past two weeks, we have been reviewing Mayer’s Modality & Redundancy Principles for multimedia learning. Both principles deal with narrated multimedia and provide guidance on how to create artifacts that reduce cognitive load. According to the modality principle, when a learner is viewing multimedia that is relatively fast-paced, they benefit most from images paired with narrations rather than written text. The redundancy principle extends the modality principle by indicating if, and when, written text should accompany narrations and images. Generally, pairing written text, images, and narration proves distracting to a learner and has the potential to overload the visual channel, resulting in extraneous processing.

After learning the basics of the principles, we had the challenge of developing our own narrated presentation with a group using Google Docs and VoiceThread. Of course, the expectation is that the artifact created abides by all prior principles we have studied. In the past, I have created numerous narrated presentations but I found this particular assignment more challenging, primarily due to the new knowledge rooted in these principles. Trying to create presentations that don’t violate either principle with meaningful graphics in a group setting is a real challenge! Throughout the design process, I frequently wondered things like “Do these images represent the message we are trying to convey?” or “Is there too much text on the page?” This is the deepest I have thought about the development of a presentation in a very long time.

Meeting the Objectives

The following AECT objectives aligned with this assignment:

  • 3.1 Creating: Candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and research-based best practices.
  • 3.2 Using: Candidates make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning based on principles, theories, and effective practices.
  • 4.1 Collaborative Practice: Candidates collaborate with their peers and subject matter experts to analyze learners, develop and design instruction, and evaluate its impact on learners

As mentioned in prior blog posts, this assignment meets objectives 3.1 and 3.2 because we are being asked to create real-world educational products based on multimedia theories found in the literature. AECT 4.1 is a new objective thus far in the course and it is met because we created this artifact as a collaborative group.

Haiku Deck Artifact

Haiku Deck View my Haiku Deck here.

This week our task in class, we were tasked with creating a Haiku Deck as a continuation of our practice with the multimedia and contiguity principles. I honestly struggled with what to create and reviewed lots of teacher samples before making a final decision. I was torn between whether I should make a self-paced historical categorization game, a document based question essay how to, or an overview of historical eras covered in class. As you can tell, I opted for the latter.

In my history classes, we always start and end with an overview of each era we study. It’s not really my goal that students memorize dates, names, and events. However, I do hope that they can tell the story of the past. If a student can properly categorize events into eras, they are a step closer to being able to tell that story.  I see this resource as an introductory piece to be shared with students at the beginning of a course. As students gain knowledge through the course, they can always return to this overview to reinforce or practice their historical comprehension.

Overall, I liked Haiku Deck but not enough to purchase a license. From a user standpoint, being able to create presentations quickly with a few clicks of the mouse is helpful and a time saver. I did feel restricted by some settings at several points during the creation process. There were moments where I wanted to change fonts between slides or the layout of text which were not always options. That said, the design of the platform forced me to limit my text use and really think about the message I wanted to convey.

Meeting the Objectives

The objectives of this assignment are AECT standards 3.1 which reads “Candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and research-based best practices.” and AECT standard 3. 2 “Candidates make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning based on principles, theories, and effective practices.”

This assignment is similar to the Sketchnote and Static Media Tutorial assignments in that we are being asked to create real-world educational products based on multimedia theories found in the literature, thus meeting both AECT Standards 3.1 and 3.2.

Static Multimedia Tutorial

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View my Using the LIFE Magazine Archives Static Multimedia Tutorial

This week we created a screenshot based tutorial using a tool called Clarify-It. The tool is a cross between a screenshot application like Snag-It with the editing features of WordPress. You can quickly and easily create an image-based guide with a few clicks using just this one application. We were asked to create a tutorial of some sort with the challenge of abiding by the multimedia and contiguity principles we have been learning about over the past few weeks.

Background

I chose to develop a guide on how to use the LIFE Magazine archive hosted by Google Books. My History 1302 students complete a source analysis project by using a topic selected from this archive. The collection of magazines are really cool because you get to experience events as Americans did in the time period. However, in past experience, my students have struggled to navigate the archive which seems to dampen the “cool factor” a bit. A quick, static multimedia tutorial might be just the thing that best helps my students with this project.

My tutorial is organized in a step by step fashion mirroring the process a user would follow as they try to access and use the archive. Each page has a title with text placed above the image, meeting the multimedia principle. On images where there is lots of information or detail, step numbers with descriptions are used to help the user process the information while reducing extraneous cognitive load, thus meeting the contiguity principle. In some other sections, there is no need for text annotations so simple callouts (boxes or arrows) are used to help the user connect the text to the image.

Experience

I have quite a bit of experience creating these kinds of guides from my years working as a technology trainer. That said, I found Clarify It to be a useful but limited tool for this purpose. Clarify It made creating the guide really easy. I was able to create sections as I thought through the development of the training and add\change screenshots on the fly. I really liked the flexibility of tool overall.

A number of issues complicated the experience, however. I found that undo and redo functions I heavily rely on in Adobe and Microsoft products were not as useful in Clarify It. I ended up losing content several times until I remembered to stop using hotkeys. A second, more problematic issue relates to screenshots that required heavy text annotations or labels (ex. pages 3, 4, & 8 of the guide). Each image on these pages is almost a full screen view which becomes compressed when published – a process which makes the annotations appear tiny. I could not find a way to make the text annotations larger and still fit within the image. Unfortunately, there was no way to pull the annotations off the image and into the margins of the page, which would easily fix the situation. I could fix the issue by editing the guide in Adobe Acrobat but that defeats the point of Clarify It as a one-stop shop for quick screenshot tutorials.

Meeting the Objectives

The objectives for this assignment are AECT standards 3.1 which reads “Candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and research-based best practices.” and AECT standard 3. 2 “Candidates make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning based on principles, theories, and effective practices.”

This assignment is similar to the Sketchnote assignment in that we are being asked to create real-world educational products based on multimedia theories found in the literature, thus meeting both AECT Standards 3.1 and 3.2.

Sketchnote Artifact

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This week in our EdTech 513 course, we were challenged to explore what we know about the Multimedia and Contiguity Principles through the creation of a sketchnote. As a form of interactive notetaking, sketchnotes prompt the learner to consider the contents of the notes at a deeper level through the coupling of images and text.

Making the Sketchnote

I have a first generation iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil, both of which came in handy for this assignment. Though I did explore some new apps to use for this assignment, I ended up using one I am very familiar with – Notability. This app has proven useful through the years for taking notes at conferences or doing homework in airports. My prior jobs required quite a bit of travel so the $9.99 price tag for the app was definitely worth it for me.

I found it difficult to start the sketchnote. For at least the first 15 minutes, I drew and erased struggling to get started. However, once I was able to get the title image and the multimedia principle sections drawn, the rest of the sketchnote came together quickly. My original note did not have the arrangement that’s seen here in the final version. As I generated ideas for conveying information about the contiguity principle, I realized I needed to rearrange the components of the sketchnote. Fortunately, Notability has a feature where I can highlight chunks of my notes and move them with ease. So once the components of the sketchnote were drawn, I could easily move and rearrange the elements until I achieved the desired effect.

Getting the sketchnote onto my computer as an image file took quite a few steps. Once I had the sketchnote completed, I exported the entire thing into Google Drive as a PDF. Because Notability is set up like a page in a notebook, my document needed some adjustment which required work on a laptop. I downloaded the PDF, opened it in Photoshop, cropped it, and saved it as a jpeg. There may be an easier way of doing this but it worked pretty well for me.

Meeting the Objective

The objectives for this assignment are AECT standards 3.1 which reads “Candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and research-based best practices.”  and AECT standard 3. 2 “Candidates make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning based on principles, theories, and effective practices.”

Through the sketchnote assignment, we meet these objectives in three major ways. First, just by virtue of creating a sketchnote, we are creating an instructional design product rooted in research-based best practices. Several studies point to the benefit of taking longhand notes. Using a device and stylus to create a sketchnote mimics the process students would follow to take notes. Secondly, the creation of a sketchnote is rooted in the multimedia and contiguity principles through the alignment of text and images facilitating deep learning. Lastly, by reflecting upon when I would use sketchnotes with students (in the next section) I meet standard 3.2.

Future Use

I did find this activity useful. Though my start was difficult and slow, once I was got into the flow of creation, the process was valuable. That said, it took quite a bit of time for me to create. If I was to use this activity in the future, it would need to be purposeful,  largely for concepts or objectives that are critically important. In my classes, it is really important for students to understand the main idea of each historical era under study. A sketchnote would be a perfect activity to help them make those connections.

History Detectives

HIstory Detectives.pngThis training provides history students with opportunities to learn about and conduct historical research in an online gamified simulation. Students work as an assistant to a fictional detective attempting to solve a critical historical mystery. In each phase of the investigation, students will be prompted to make critical decisions to help solve the case. The process of solving the mystery will mirror the historical research process. Ultimately, this tutorial will teach students about the process of historical research including the locating sources, understanding the types of sources used by historians, requisite analysis skills, and how to evaluate evidence to draw a conclusion.

Below are the links to the History Detectives Training, the training learning log, and the design document used to plan the course.

History Detectives Training
History Detectives Learning Log
Design Document & Reflection

 

A Semester-long EDR Reflection

When our Educational Design Research course began a mere 15 weeks ago, I struggled to grasp both the formatting of EDR articles and the components that comprised the methodology. Though the purpose of EDR as an application of theory to real world settings was clear, the types of cycles, phases, and theoretical underpinnings mystified me. After reading numerous EDR studies and undergoing the difficult challenge of preparing my own EDR proposal, I am left with a deeper understanding of the method. That being said, I still have plenty to learn about the complexities of design in EDR.

An EDR Dissertation?

When this semester began I could not foresee any way of using EDR for my dissertation. At first glance it seemed too lengthy and cumbersome a method to undertake as a culminating doctoral program study. Many EDR studies take place over the course of many years – a time frame no doctoral student hopes for in the dissertation process.

Throughout my tenure in the Ed Tech doctoral program, I have written numerous research proposals meant to take place theoretical settings. Having been an educational consultant, instructional coach, and professor, I have a preference for intervention based, qualitative research. Each time I wrote a proposal, I would find myself worrying about how I would make these studies happen when the time came to conduct research on my own. Who would I contact to participate? If not nearby, how would I get to them?

Though it seems frowned upon, I have always wanted to study my local area – my students, my courses, and my designs. I wanted to be both the researcher and the practitioner. After all, many educators act as defacto researchers in their classrooms, continually adjusting lessons and assessments based on student need. Who wouldn’t want to use that work to develop relevant, publishable research? Before EDR, I didn’t think such a study would be possible.

I am intrigued by the possibility of studying an intervention in a local context through successful completion. I see this as one of the most relevant contributions to research an educational technologist can make to the field. At this point, I’m stuck as to whether I want to pursue EDR for my dissertation. I’m not ruling it out but I do think that I would have to develop a more thorough understanding of study design before proceeding. I worry about my tendency to get lost in ideas – an issue that could prove disastrous when paired with the large scale of many EDR studies.

In order to make such a decision,  I would have to explore EDR further. Even after writing a proposal, I know I have deficiencies in understanding how to craft a theoretical  foundation from the literature (especially when the literature lacks empirical studies) and in the detailed design of the micro cycles. Though I was able to develop these in my proposal, I believe I would need even more development to implement the study successfully.

Thoughts on Peer Review

This semester, each of us conducted a total of four peer reviews of the EDR proposals generated this semester. I felt that learned more from this activity than any other with the exception of drafting mo]y own proposal. Writing an EDR proposal is no easy feat due to the complexities and detail of the study design. At times, I struggled to maintain clarity while conveying detailed information.  Being able to see how others organized and developed their proposals helped me tremendously. Receiving feedback from my peers about areas needed clarity helped to guide my writing and revisions.

EDR Design, Evaluation, & Implementation

In this module, we have spent significant time considering the implementation phases of design based research and how it relates to our literature reviews. Given that this is the third doctoral level methods course I have taken, I expected this portion of the experience to be easy. Of course, as has happened so many times with DBR, I found it more challenging than past study design projects.

I began planning my DBR implementation with the end (evaluation & reflection) and beginning (analysis & exploration) in mind to make the process a bit easier. Since integrating media literacy into my college history courses is something I already wanted to do, I knew which questions I’d have to answer before proceeding. Determining where students are with their digital media skills and faculty beliefs and knowledge of media literacy was an easy starting place. The literature on both faculty and students indicates a lack of knowledge and comfort that would have to be identified and addressed before progressing. The end wasn’t too difficult either – I knew that any study I conducted on media literacy integration would require the development of interventions and a determination of how effective they were to influencing student media literacy skills. Ultimately evaluating those outcomes and making decisions on adjustments when they do not meet expectations is the goal of the entire study.

The middle portion – design and construction – is the hard part of envisioning and planning when conducting a DBR study. Since the design and construction phases are so closely linked to the analysis and exploration phase, even the best made plans can go awry. In all my years of working with teachers – as an educational consultant and instructional coach – I know how quickly plans and reality can diverge. As such, I am always hesitant to draft plans without a deeper understanding of conditions. Since my topic is relatively new and weaves several disciplines together, I cannot gain that deeper understanding from the literature. There are simply too many gaps. It must come from the analysis and exploration.

I was able to come up with a plan for the design and construction of my study. However, I had some concerns about getting a study like this through an institutional review board. What is the best procedure for conveying plans of study when you do not quite yet know exactly how they will occur? If your plans change due to new information discovered in the analysis and exploration phase, do you have to return to the institutional review board with revisions? Will an institutional review board even approve a study of this nature when the steps are not concrete and clear from the beginning?

This is a study that I do intend to pursue – in fact I’ve already submitted a proposal to present it with colleagues at an OER conference this fall. I just worry about our capacity to get approval to conduct such an in-depth, sensitive study – especially when both students and faculty are involved.

References

McKenney, S., & Reeves, T. C. (2012). Conducting educational design research. New York, NY: Routledge.