Go Bananas Over SurveyMonkey

surveymonkey

SurveyMonkey, according to its company website,  is a free “online survey software and questionnaire tool” for users to create a survey. It’s easy to use and offers a variety of question types. The basic format, which is free, allows 10 questions. Realistically, a 10 question survey is enough. If, however, a longer survey is needed, a premium membership is available for purchase.  Like other technologies, it is a matter of playing with it and using it. This is a tool to find out things. For example, it could be used to create a student survey about likes and dislikes on types of assignments. Thus, the results would help me better plan for the future. Using a self-created survey could provide valuable feedback. In fact, the questions in this survey are ones which will affect initial course developments if and when I teach an online course. Here’s the link to my survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QBPKMJL

MOOC: The Ever Changing Road to Education

MOOCs are growing in number of course offerings and in participant enrollment. Opinions vary regarding the impact they will have to student enrollment. Most agree, however, that if enrollments drop at secondary institutions,  rising tuition will be the culprit, not MOOCs.  Rather, most agree that  MOOCs perpetuate learning after college. The following reflects an end of the Module assignment: http://prezi.com/ri_qzrlyesuq/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

An Educator’s Dilemma: Designer or Off the Rack?

To “jazz things up” and to engage diverse learners, educators constantly seek innovative ways to introduce and reinforce content to students. YouTube, Prezi, and repositories are but a few locations to find ready-made content. While easily accessible, it takes time to research, preview, and select the right material. Although online material is abundant and will satisfy the learning objective, sometimes “Good enough” isn’t acceptable, thus creating one’s own content becomes a necessity. The distinct advantage of creating content is the product will be designed to  meet a specific need. Further, “settling” becomes a non-issue because when one creates his/her own content, the points will be presented as one wants and in the order desired. Also, the format and style will be exactly as one wants. While it takes time to select ready-made content, it takes time to develop and create content. Content, like clothing, becomes a choice between off the rack or custom-made. And like clothing, time factors such as “How long until I need it?” and “How long until I get it?” affect the decision whether to choose ready-made or designer content.

The Prezi Drawing Board

preziI first began checking out Prezi earlier this month. I spent more hours than I care to admit to develop a lengthy presentation that incorporated PowerPoint slides, video links, and practice sessions. It is meant to be viewed in sections. However, the assignment for this unit is very specific in that the time maximum is five minutes. Of course this makes sense given that a presentation of this nature should fall within given proven parameters of success. Thus, literally, it was back to the Prezi drawing board.

I forgot the frustrations I had previously experienced when playing with Prezi. Yet, overall I am glad I created this presentation. Its purpose is to provide students with Brainstorming strategies to develop a Dual Text Analysis essay. The presentation addresses the Venn Diagram, the T-Chart, and the Outline. It is meant to be used in conjunction with handouts which will provide students with opportunities to practice the concepts presented.

I wonder if the time investment (again, more hours than I am willing to admit) is worth the value of the learning tool. Since it as of yet untested, I’m trying to remain open-minded. However, I think other methods, such as PowerPoint, have proven value and took far less time than I invested. To be fair, part of the time invested reflects my learning curve which I would identify as in the “under development” phase.

Here’s the link to my Prezi Presentation on Brainstorming for the Dual Text Analysis essay:

http://prezi.com/78ekfk72wu6k/?htm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

I look forward to your feedback!

Multimedia Usage Enhances Student Learning

Give a couple examples in which multimedia (any combination of video, audio, graphics) would help the learning process. Give a couple examples in which you would NOT want to use multimedia.

As with any resource utilized in a class, careful selection is key.  In other words, multimedia should not be used for the sake of using multimedia. Rather, multimedia should be selected to compliment course materials.  As a result, effective multimedia selection will enhance student learning.

Most educators have utilized videos or DVDs in their classrooms. However, sometimes a clip from a film is all that is needed to convey the point needed in using this multimedia format. For example, there is a scene from the movie “U-571” which shows racial intolerance and compliments Richard Wright’s novel, Native Son. The visual representation depicts Wright’s ideals in a way that brings his literature to life. The video creates a reality for students in a way that they are able to connect.

Music is often overlooked as a multimedia format. I have played music as a journal assignment. I usually select something I know students are unlikely to have heard. I play it twice. Students are to respond on an emotional level on the first play, and then an intellectual level for the second play. A class discussion follows. Its purpose is to stimulate critical thinking skills where students are told, “No longer is a Yes/No response acceptable. You need to substantiate your viewpoint.” This activity helps students learn how to use critical thinking skills which they transfer to writing paragraphs or essays.

Audio recordings help students comprehend a difficult story or poem. As a side benefit to a literary audio performance, students are able to hear words that may be difficult to pronounce or dialects that may be difficult to imagine. This is as close to podcasts as I’ve utilized thus far; however, podcasts are now on my radar. According to Gardner Campbell in “There’s Something in the Air”, student podcasts provide a sense of connectedness and a forum for discussion.  Campbell introduces the term “profcasts” which is a podcast recorded by a professor. He suggests that a profcast will “plant seeds of interest” for the student. Dan Baltzer and Susan Manning in their podcast “Hearing Voices in Online Courses” (on which our instructor Norm Garrett is referenced) concur. Baltzer and Manning suggest that podcasts provide “contextual information to support the readings” and provides a forum to personalize the class and create a connection with the students.  Thus, podcasts are a technology I need to evaluate if and when I teach an online course.

Using multimedia addresses diverse learning styles and creates different types of opportunities for student learning. Other than a lack of unavailability, I’m unable to think of a scenario when I wouldn’t consider multimedia implementation if it would enhance instruction.