“All that we ask, is that you build something of interest to you, that you solve an actual problem, that you impact campus, or that you change the world.”- Caroline Perry.

Overview of Module 1 (June 8-14)

Key Ideas of Mod 1

  1. Learning to navigate the course site
  2. Learning from the web
  3. Getting to know your online learning community
  4. Connecting to course focus
  5. Begin to build understanding of clarity in thinking and how to think clearly
  6. Significance of visible thinking

Inspired by Clare Vanderpool’s Book Cover, Navigating Early.

Mod 1 Resources

(Complete reading Resources before Twitter Chat or Video Chat on Friday June 12)

We kick off the course with a mix of hands-on and minds-on activities — getting yourself online-ready with a set of web tools for online interaction and a mix of activities to warm up for the coming weeks of learning. Reading the Syllabus will introduce you to the purpose and structure of the course. If you haven’t read the syllabus carefully before starting this module, please do so NOW.

Paul and Elder’s (2013) [Access via VCU (Institutional) Library, (Part 2, 2 pg.)] article offer 9 guides (which they call “intellectual standards”) for assessing reasoning. Read through to understand what they say about clarity in human reasoning (thinking). This is one of the core questions we will explore throughout this course. [Paul and Elder’s Part 1 (2 pg.) is available if you want a bit of background before reading Part 2.]

Ritchart and Perkins’ (2008), Making Thinking Visible article is set in the K-12 setting. The concepts are transferable to all educational contexts. It provides an introduction to Visible Thinking and Thinking Routines designed by researchers from Harvard’s Project Zero team.


Mod 1Activities

Set up the following tools:

  • a blog in rampages.us; and an About Me page as self-portrait to introduce yourself to our learning community
  • a Twitter account; send a tweet to share your Rampages blog link; tweet ideas from your readings; tag all your tweets with #VCUTHINK; follow me at @yinbk
  • a Diigo account. I will invite you to join our Diigo community.
  • Go to Your Online Toolbox for information on how to get set up for learning in this online course.

As an introduction, I ask that you compare thinking to something, anything, around you, or from your imagination. What is thinking like from your experience or imagination? Use the following questions as prompts. Choose at least 2 questions to respond to. Feel free to create your own question for comparison. Your Make is to be accompanied by some brief explanation.

Create 1 post for each question you respond to in your Rampages blog. If you answer 2 questions, you will create 2 posts or MAKES. Examples of Makes? This is a page from a VCU Graduate Course CMST 691 that aggregated a week’s assignment of Makes on the theme of Shared Power.

  • If thinking were a drink/beverage, what would it taste like to you?
  • If thinking were a smell, what would it smell like to you?
  • If thinking were a gesture or series of movements, what would it move like?
  • If thinking could be heard, what would you hear?
  • If thinking could be a piece of apparel, what would it be?
  • What makes you say so? Explain your ideas as clearly as you can.
  • Capture your thoughts in any way you want. Use any “language” or format that you feel comfortable in to express your thoughts. A metaphor, a drawing, art, movie, music, selfie… Insert the media (image, video, audio) or write it directly in your Rampages blog as a post(s).
  • Assign the category VCUTHINK to this post.
  • Assign the tag INTROMAKE to your post to identify it as a Module 1 activity. Publish your post.

Search for content on the web using keywords, “visible thinking” and “clear thinking.” Save at least 2 articles as bookmarks and add to Diigo group BY Sunday June 14.

Live Twitter Web Video Chat via Appear.In on Friday June 12, 7 – 8 PM EDT. Look for #VCUTHINK tweets. We will discuss the readings and our learning experiences thus far.

Write a reflective blog post based on the following questions. Assign the category VCUTHINK to this reflection. Assign the tag REFLECT1 to this post. Publish the post. Share the link (URL) to this post on Twitter.

Richard Paul and Linda Elder mention 6 questions that focus on clarity in thinking. Use this list of questions to analyze and reflect on your Introduction Makes. Did you happen to use any of the 6 points to make your thinking clearer (unintentionally or intentionally)? What makes you say that?


Use the following prompt to reflect on this entire Module’s learning experience: “I used to think, …  Now I think …”

Read the posts of other course participants (Makes and Reflections) and add comments to at least 5 posts by Wednesday June 17. Use this Feedback Ladder for some ideas on how to provide feedback to other participants. (The guide helps you get beyond stating “I like it!” or “It’s great!”)

I am available for additional individual Google Hangout consultations to clarify course direction or matters. Contact me to arrange for one.

Updated: June 15, 2015, 2:19 PM

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