WPP Part A – Need More Moodle!

My school, the Ingham Academy, is an individualized educational setting that contains students in different content areas (and different subjects entirely) within the same class period for most classes. This is due to the school being an alternative court based school. Of my seven class periods, only 3 of them are homogeneous in nature, which limits the ability for whole class instruction substantially. The problem is compounded by the fact that attendance can be sporadic enough that even homogeneous classes can become varied with students missing several days of work at a time, and needing to catch up in the coursework. As most of my time in the individualized classes is spent helping students as they get stuck and have questions, it would be greatly beneficial if I could have instructional tools available to students when I am helping other students. Even though I have a paraprofessional in the classroom to help, the more support that I can give my students, the more opportunities for learning they will have. If I can increase support by using technology to instruct even two additional students per hour, the amount of instructional support per student should increase noticeably.

I would like to use a blend of video lectures and demonstrations with follow up questions presented in Moodle to help address my classes’ instructional roadblocks. There are many resources available online, such as You Tube, MIT’s Open CourseWare, and Khan Academy that have instructional video that could be used to help introduce, reinforce, and answer questions about topics. For those subjects that don’t have an appropriate video easily found on the internet, I can create a video-cast covering the necessary information. Once the videos have been selected or created, they can be put into Moodle courses I already have (or can have created as I expand to different subjects in the future) with leading and follow-up questions to help guide the students’ learning. Using this method will take added preparation time in the beginning, but should pay off in the long run. Even if only two students using the two classroom computers I have each hour can benefit from instructional videos with guiding questions, the efficiency of the classroom should increase, as should the amount of learning and time engaged per student. The use of Moodle also integrates interactivity because of feedback with the questions asked. The financial costs should be minimal because I already have the equipment needed to create needed videos, the online resources are free, and I already have access to Moodle through my district.

Using this model, I would hope to begin by creating a few lessons including videos and guiding questions within Moodle. The topics covered in the Moodle lessons would be in the areas of the curriculum that target subject matter difficult to successfully implement with a textbook. Two students per class period would have the option of working on the Moodle lessons that would introduce the topics being covered in a particular chapter or section. The students would be asked a couple of questions guiding them to what the video will cover and will be asked questions at the end of the video(s) as well to ensure they understood the points being made. As the students complete the Moodle lessons, they will receive credit for completing sections of their coursework.

Using video in the classroom as part of the coursework, students will be exposed to information that would otherwise not be available because of access or time constraints as stated in Using Video in the Classroom. Instructional videos can help bring students into a subject in ways that give it relevance, focus, and that reinforce the concepts as outlined in Tips for Using Instructional Video and Public Television Programming in the Classroom. Audio visual learners will also benefit using this method of instructional delivery because it will appeal more to them than a quiet and inanimate textbook. There are also many built in tools with Moodle that allow interactivity for students who might not have as much interactive help as needed because I am helping other students.

I plan to implement this model of videos with guiding support covering topics in my Physical Science class which is a homogeneous group suffering due to attendance, and my Physics class which is scattered throughout several class periods. The aim will be to target subject areas where students coalesce in Physics, presenting information in a manner that is more intuitive and interactive (with the video and Moodle guiding questions). There are many topics that are just not effectively covered in a textbook. In Physical Science the same Moodle and video format will guide students into new topics and also allow students who are absent for lessons covered an opportunity to review a lesson after it has been performed. For both classes I will set a goal of target students completing a Moodle video lesson once a week. This will be possible because the Physical Science class has access to the computer lab, and the Physics students are scattered throughout the day in my classroom that has two computers available to students.

If this project is successful, I would expect to see my Physics and Physical Science students making it through more subject matter with greater understanding and performance. This will be measured by evaluating the number of chapters completed as well as grades on associated assignments. It is also hopeful that behaviors in the class would improve because of greater access to interactive instruction, which should be reflected in the behavioral points recorded at our school. If both the pace and performance have increased in these classes, I would consider the project’s implementation a success.

In the future I will expand this project to include key topics in all the classes I teach and will be teaching (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physical Science, and Earth Science). Because our school is working to get a computer lab on wheels, our computer access should increase. My future goal will be that each class has one class period a week in which a Moodle video lesson, or related technology rich lesson, will be utilized to enhance the curriculum.

A Funny Thing Happened With Technology

Here is a link to my funny thing with technology!

Funny Thing With Technology!

CEP 812 Introduction

Here is my video introduction to my CEP812 class.  I used Windows Movie Maker to create it and WinX to transform it to MP4!

Intro Video!

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