Friday March 1, 2002: 9:30am

Professor Beal:

Please respond to this question to begin this week's discussion:

"State your learning style as identified by the online test. Describe in what ways you feel the test to be accurate and inaccurate given your own characteristics."

 

Friday March 1, 2002: 9:38am

Professor Beal:

I'll start the discussion by sharing my learning style so you can get to know me a little bit better. I've tested as a kinesthetic learner, but through my life I've tried to strengthen my other learning methods (visual and verbal). I really enjoy being actively involved in learning tasks (projects, hands-on demos, building things), which might have lent itself to my being a natural science teacher in my early career. With my Jr. High level earth science students I really enjoyed "going all out" with the projects, field trips, and the like.

As everyone posts their learning styles, you may want to keep notes regarding everyone's individual style as our discussion will revolve around everyone's personal experiences. This will help keep everyone up to speed.

Since we are all still getting used to online discussions, please do not start multiple threads. We did a great job last week staying organized so lets continue with the policy of remaining on a single thread. Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

 

Click for Comments on Prof. Beal's posting

 

Monday March 4, 2002: 7:46am

Harry:
According to the online survey, I am a visual learner. I agree with that because I like to have lots of overheads and visuals in my classes. I usually need to have my textbook with the pictures while the professor is talking in my intro physics class. I hate lecture courses where the professor just talks at you

Monday March 4, 2002: 10:30am

Sally:
The survey says…ding ding ding ding…kinesthetic! The summary told me that I should like lab settings and "hands-on activities". Which I do, so, the description seems correct. In the strategies section it said that I should use flash cards when studying, but I've tried this and found that it doesn't work. Am I doing something wrong?

 
 

Monday March 4, 2002: 10:32am

Juan:
The survey online said that I was equally a visual and a verbal learner. I have to disagree with this "educated" resource because I always have a hard time listening to directions or sitting in a lecture. I can never understand a math problem if someone explains it to me, I have to go see the TA and have them write it out step-by-step. I tell ya, I do not hold much stock in the learning style resource you gave us.

 
 

Monday March 4, 2002: 2:46pm

Lisa:
I am very different from Harry, I actually like "lecture" courses - I guess this is why I tested as an auditory learner. I am having a hard time with these written discussions because I hate reading from the screen and don't like to read textbooks anyway. I'd rather listen to someone else talk about it or talk about things in a group - like the summary of the auditory learner says.

 
  Help the facilitator think about her next response.

The student responses have been at the "knowledge and comprehension" level of the rubric. The facilitator wants to bring the discussion up to the "application" level of Bloom's Taxonomy. Refer back to the questioning technique table and think about how the facilitator can respond to the students in order to encourage responses at the application level.

 
 

Monday March 4, 2002: 4:32pm

Professor Beal:

It seems that multiple learning styles are present in our discussion group! After examining the resources, you all seem to understand your learning style well. Next, please relate your own learning style to your online course experience thus far, or from another online learning experience you have had. Harry and Juan, does this medium have enough visual elements for you? Sally, are you finding that using a computer serves as an activity? Lisa, what are some things you enjoy about your online learning experience? (What things distract you)?

 

Click for Comments on Prof. Beal's response!

 
 

Monday March 4, 2002: 10:14pm

Lisa:
Wouldn't it be easier if everyone just passed out phone numbers and we could "talk" about this? ;-)

 

Tuesday March 5, 2002: 11:17am

Professor Beal:

Lisa, our class could be held on the phone but that would take away certain elements of the online experience. Let's try to stay on topic.

Click for Comments!

 
 

Tuesday March 5, 2002: 11:18am

Harry:
Yes, Professor Beal, the online environment does have a lot of visual elements. I do not particularly mind reading from the screen, although my wife hates it! She usually needs me to print things out for her to read. I do find a lot of text boring though. The discussion board last week became a little overwhelming by the end. It will take me some time to get used to it. I like the online environment in general, lots of pictures, animations, and cool effects on some snazzy websites!

 
 

Tuesday March 5, 2002: 1:02 pm

Sally:
I guess I have the same opinion as Harry about online learning. I really like internet games and I always like to type things better than hand write. Sometimes I get bored just reading articles online for other classes, but this discussion board thing isn't so bad. It's sort-of fun waiting to see what everyone else writes!

 
 

Tuesday March 5, 2002: 3:45pm

Lisa:
I'm glad you asked me if there are other things I do not like about online learning, I didn't want to really bring it up on my own! In the strategies section of the learning styles website, it said that I could read out loud to help me. Sometimes I do this while reading textbooks, but now I'm going to try to read out loud when I read from the computer. Idea! I'll make up voices for everyone here and when I read the discussion board I can use the different voices! A-hA!

 

Wednesday March 6, 2002: 2:04am

Juan:
I guess I'm lucky that I am visual and auditory because I do not have trouble just reading from the screen, but I would like more graphics and stuff to help explain things sometimes.

 
 

Wednesday March 6, 2002: 10:37am

Harry:
Juan! Man! You are up too late! (re: your 2am post!) Maybe I'm just too old to keep up with you young guys!

So after reading everyone's take on the online learning, is it possible that the online environment is not appropriate for all learners? Are there ways of addressing each learning style regardless of the medium?

 
  What would you do?

Harry's response reflects that he is thinking at the analysis and synthesis level, above his peers. Think about how the facilitator can deal with student responses at differing levels.

How can the facilitator be sure that all students are functioning at the same base level, yet not lose the "teachable moment" that Harry has presented?

 
 

Wednesday March 6, 2002: 11:30am

Professor Beal:

You are all very insightful and are becoming more aware of how you learn, great!! Harry has a great question, which we are on our way to answering! Learning styles certainly are an important consideration and should be taken into account in any learning environment. In order to get closer to answering your question Harry, let's explore a topic that all of us are very familiar with first:

Remember back to your favorite undergraduate class and why you liked it. Explain how this course tapped into your learning style. Alternately, explore your least favorite undergraduate class and in what ways your learning style wasn't addressed. Please be brief. Use the summaries and strategies of all the learning styles from the DVC Online resource to help answer your question. You can also use other resources found on the internet, just be sure they are from a reputable source (i.e. from a research institution or educational psychology program).

 

Click for Comments!

 
 

Wednesday March 6, 2002: 3:45pm

Sally:
My favorite course so far has been my sculpture course. I've had an art class before, drawing, and I didn't do so well. But in the sculpture class I could get my hands dirty and do something while I was learning about "form". We also had field trips to art museums and campus sculptures, which were really engaging. Some of the campus sculptures are room size so we had to walk around and through them, it was a neat experience to write about in my art journal!

My least favorite was history. It was a huge stuffy lecture hall of a gazillion students. The professor just talked at us (stole this term from Harry!) and I would often fall asleep. So, it really wasn't "kinesthetic" because all I did was sit there. The resource said that I should try to take detailed notes in those sort of classes, but I can't stay focused enough to do that!

 
 

Wednesday March 6, 2002: 5:03pm

Juan:
See now Sally, you should have been in my History of Religion course, now, that was really active! It was still a large lecture hall where we listened to the prof., but he used a computer thing for the lectures so we had all sorts of pictures and stuff. He also had handouts of his slides with space next to them that I could write on. This was nice because I could listen to what he was saying and look at the info at the same time. We also had a discussion section where we got into some real lively debates and could ask questions and discuss cool things from lecture in detail. I like discussions because I think this is where I really make everything click.

Yes Harry, I stay up late, but my first class isn't until 1pm!

 
 

Wednesday March 6, 2002: 5:04pm

Lisa:
My favorite class was a political science seminar. The professor was really animated when he talked. He would ask really controversial questions and get everyone in the class to talk about how they felt on the subject. Our discussion sections sometimes got very heated over the issues, really woke me up for the 8:30 am class!

My least favorite was chemistry…just lots of symbols and diagrams of molecules and atoms, and I really didn't like the labs, they seemed like a waste of time. The labs were really quiet and everyone was "down to business" and just followed the lab manual. And the room made me smell like chemicals after, blech

 

Thursday March 7, 2002: 12:06pm

Professor Beal:
Juan, you did a splendid job talking about your History of Religion lecture course and how the professor incorporated visual and verbal elements that catered to your learning style preferences (verbal *and* visual). The second part of my question asked about courses that were troublesome because your particular learning style was not considered. You mentioned difficulties with a math class earlier this week, could you expand on that thought for us and help us understand how your learning style was not addressed in math course?

Click for Comments!

 
 

Thursday March 7, 2002: 12:10pm

Harry:
I always liked my physics classes best and the labs that we had to do. I got to "see" how the theories and the math worked. Unlike Lisa, I think I have liked every lab class I've had. I'm not sure if that has to do with my learning style or if I have always liked science and making things blow-up!

Right now I am having trouble with my French requirement. I've always had trouble learning a second language, especially one that doesn't sound like it looks! I can write pretty well in French for the homework assignments, but during class when we all have to talk I just can't follow the dialogue and then speak myself without reading it off of a paper or always referring to the dictionary! I guess this is typical of a visual learner. I'm interested to know if Lisa or Juan (being auditory learners) pick up languages easily?

 
 

Professor Beal feels the need to move the discussion into the analysis and synthesis level of Bloom's Taxonomy. The facilitator also has to try to incorporate Harry's earlier comment before the discussion reaches a close. It is important that this is not forgotten as it was stated to the students that they would return to the question. It takes a thoughtful facilitator response to "bring it back around" to the learning goals.

 
 

Thursday March 7, 2002: 12:31pm

Professor Beal:

It is interesting how everyone's favorite courses seem like the epitome of their learning style! For Sally, the nature of sculpture is naturally kinesthetic. It seems only natural that a partial auditory learner like Juan would like discussion and lecture courses, and Lisa the same. It seems that the inherent nature of the courses promoted a certain learning style, interesting! I wonder if it is topic dependent (i.e. all physics majors are visual learners) or if it is the instructor that makes the course geared toward a particular learning style. Does the instructor's own learning style dictate the course design? This will be something for all of you to think about when you begin creating lesson plans for your own K-12 classrooms someday!

I think we are all ready now to tackle Harry's question:

Harry's post read:
So after reading everyone's take on the online learning, is it possible that the online environment is not appropriate for all learners? Are there ways of addressing each learning style regardless of the medium?

I would like each of you to address your "least favorite" course and brainstorm how computing technologies can help introduce all learning styles into the course design. Please go back and review the article, "Using Learning Styles to Adapt Technology for Higher Education" [Terry O'Connor, Indiana State University] to start your brainstorm process. You can also think about "live" courses that you have had that have utilized computing technologies. Was there anything particularly effective for one learning style opposed to another? Is there anything that did not work well?

 

Click for Comments!

 

Friday March 8, 2002: 1:31am

Sally:

Okay, here is my mini-brainstorm on ideas for how computers could enhance a history course - some of these I found on the internet!

- Project work on a historical event or figure, such as creating web pages or creating a graphic document on the computer (like Powerpoint). I know I could have made my history term paper more interesting if I could have included links and movies and stuff like that, have a "term web paper" or something like that.
- The internet is great for finding images of those people who do historical reenactments.
- Field trip assignments like visiting historical places and writing a web page about it, including pictures that are taken with my camera.
-Webquests and primary sources

 
 

Friday March 8, 2002: 9:32am

Professor Beal:

Great ideas Sally! Would you mind sharing with the class the web resources you found? Thank you!

 
 

Friday March 8, 2002: 1:23pm

Juan:
My ideas:

- An online math tutoring program or software to help me on my own time
- The professor could post detailed notes on the problems he did in class with all the steps written out. So many of my other classes have webpages now, I think it is getting more common now.
- Do graphing calculators count as computing technologies?

 
 

Saturday March 9, 2002: 2:56pm

Lisa:
What a bleary day out today! anyhooooo-

Here is my brainstorm for my chemistry class:
- Video instructions that you can watch before the lab online or at the library
- Webquests on the topics in class

I really don't know what else, I just prefer lectures and don't really like labs. Maybe if there was more discussion in the labs talking about what we are doing instead of just following the "cookbook".

 
 

Sunday March 10, 2002: 4:02pm

Professor Beal:

Good brainstorms Juan and Lisa! Juan, yes! Graphing calculators are a computing technology. Some of the newer PDA devices, those handheld palm devices, are now equipped with graphing software and can "beam" the information around the class to another handheld device! Neat stuff! Hmmmm, chemistry is a hard topic to bring computing into. I have seen interactive animations where the user can play with molecule simulations. One of my colleagues is helping to design a "digital molecular model kit" which would also bring computers and interactivity into a classroom. For enhanced labs, there are digital probes that can be hooked up to laptops to allow students to take their own measurements at remote places (like a pond or stream).

Sorry to hear you are having bleak weather Lisa! The Chancellor where I am decided to have Mountain Day tomorrow because the weather is so nice! (We all get an impromtu holiday where we are supposed to go 'play in the mountains' around campus!)

 
 

Sunday March 10, 2002: 7:46pm

Harry:
Mountain Day? I'm very jealous!

I am learning so many great ideas from everyone! Here are mine:

- Software to help me see the language (do not know how, but this is a brainstorm)
- Games on the computer to help me learn the words
- Watching a foreign language subtitled film
- Like Lisa, maybe doing a foreign language Webquest (a website in a foreign language)

 

Monday March 11, 2002: 11:13am

Professor Beal:

As teachers we should be thinking of ways to address the different learning styles that exist in our classrooms. Technology has given us more ways of communicating, whether visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. The challenge is to be creative enough to make the technology almost invisible to the learning. In other words, technology should not be an obstacle to the learning process. Instead it should facilitate the learning process. What steps could we take to ensure that our use of technology enhances, rather than interferes with, the learning in our classrooms?

 

Monday March 11, 2002: 2:34pm

Sally:
I guess one way to make sure that the technology is not the focus is to learn it well. I was placed in a local high school last semester for teacher observation - the woman didn't even know how to turn on a computer! But she still tried to use computers with the kids, "just for the sake of technology" and that "the kiddies like it" (this was her favorite phrase!). She wasted so much instructional time focusing on how to figure things out rather than working on the assignment with the kids! If she had figured out how we were to use the software in the first place, I think that the kids would have enjoyed it much more, they were really frustrated and got all rowdy.

 
 

Monday March 11, 2002: 2:45pm

Harry:
I agree, Sally! I hate to admit it, but I would get excited (like those schoolkids) when a certain teacher of mine used Powerpoint or some other type of software to teach in our classroom. I got excited, not because it was easier learning, but because he was more fascinated by the slides he had made for us than what they were actually saying. The slides didn't always make things easier to understand. Maybe if he used graphics or something it would have been better.

 

Tuesday March 12, 2002: 1:34am

Juan:
Sally and Harry both made a point that makes me think that the main reason teachers don't like to use technology is because they're afraid of it. I think I would be afraid to use it too because I think something might go wrong or just not work the way I intended. I had a teacher who didn't know much about technology but still wanted to use it. She got the geekier students to help with the computers and learn the programs...they got extra credit or something (wish I had been a geek!)...but anyway - we used some cool stuff to help us learn geometry, some animation program...it was neat!

  What would you handle the situation?

It is nearing the end of the discussion and Professor Beal wants to bring the discussion to conclusion. Having a project that is based on the discussion will help keep the students keep interested in the content matter and strongly urge them to participate. If a project or assignment based on the discussion is a final goal, it needs to be stated at the beginning of the discussion so that the learners know what is expected of them. The facilitator had done this in precursory posts and in the syllabus at the beginning of the discussion.

Professor Beal has required of herself that her students reach the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy by the end of the discussion. Is this a realistic and practical expectation/goal?

 
 

Tuesday March 12, 2002 3:04pm

Professor Beal:

You all have witnessed technology in a K-12 classroom and how it can be an obstacle to learning, or, like Juan, increase the interest in the subject material. Thank you everyone for sharing! We are coming to a close on our discussion and I would like to wrap things up with a brief assignment. The assignment should be handed in and put in the public directory no later than Monday at 9pm. Please read everyone else's assignments by Wed at noon and send me an email about aspects you like and could improve upon with others ideas. I will send out personal emails containing the comments (anonymous) Wed night. If you have any questions or thoughts about this project, please either post them or e-mail me directly.

ASSIGNMENT:

Write a brief (one page) brainstorm (like we did last week, good job everyone!) on how you can make learning technologies "invisible" in your future classrooms. Feel free to concentrate on one subject or lesson plan. Use your ideas from the discussion this week (multiple learning styles, technology in undergraduate classes, etc) to help generate more great ideas. At the end of the brainstorm, be sure to list "pre-requisite skills" needed by you and your students to use the technology effectively and efficiently to learn!

FINAL THOUGHTS!

 
 
          
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