Tag Archives: tedu662fall16b

TPACK Lesson-Captain

Disclaimer: this is the furthest out of my comfort zone I have been so far.  TPACK was a completely foreign concept to me and is now only a little less so.  I welcome any and all feedback, but especially in the pedagogy area.  My content is on a much smaller scale than most everyone else’s so that was also a challenge.


Lesson Description:

Students will use Schoology as well as a face-to-face meeting during Indian Time (40 minutes) to review various study skills strategies, identify which ones they have tried in the past and which ones they are willing to implement moving forward.  Study skills will be presented via videos, website links, and workbook exercises.  Students will discuss the goals they set in a previously answered Schoology discussion question.  Students will work in small groups to complete exercises to develop and practice study skills.

  1. The main Content (C) of this lesson is study skills strategies-how students can implement them in current classes.
  2. The main Pedagogy (P) of this lesson is active learning and cooperative learning.
  3. The main Technology (T) of this lesson is videos, website links, and online discussion-all presented via Schoology course.


Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)

Describe: Discussion of the various study skill strategies after they are presented will help students decide which ones might work in their particular situation.  Students can learn from each other pros/cons of each strategy while they examine how each strategy would or would not fit their needs and personal learning style.  As students talk with each other they will recognize that they are not alone in their struggles and encourage each other to implement new strategies to improve study habits.  This discussion and personal connection will assist students in retaining the strategies and moving forward with implementing them.

Support:   https://teach.com/what/teachers-teach/teaching-methods/



Technological Content Knowledge (TCK)

Describe:  Schoology is a familiar tool used by all teachers and students in our school.  The online format for discussion questions provides them with a more comfortable forum for initial sharing and the time constraints of our face-to-face meetings are better suited for a quick re-cap of answers already provided.  Use of videos and website links within Schoology allow us to initially view the content together and prevents the students from being overwhelmed with resources if they conducted their own web searches.  Students have paper workbooks available for some assignments, but these have also been loaded onto Schoology for later recall if needed.

Support:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLVtIUj2_VE


Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)

Describe:  Students will have access to all strategies presented to review as needed as they start to implement some new skills into their personal study strategies.  The discussion feature is also helpful in allowing students to continue conversations started in the face-to-face meetings and to also contribute in an online environment where they may not have felt comfortable or ready to contribute in face-to-face discussions.



Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)

Describe:  The content, method of teaching and technology all work together to provide the students with multiple avenues to receive the content and explore ways that they will select study strategies and implement them.  Students will be able to receive the content through videos, access to websites and various group exercises and study sheets that will be given in hardcopy and available through Schoology.  Students will have the opportunity for face-to-face and online discussion to examine strategies and determine which study strategies they will implement in their classes.




Learning Module Outline-Captain

  1.  Learning Outcomes-students will improve their perception of their confidence in their study skills, communication (ability to access resources for help), organization and time management.  Students will also decrease the amount of anxiety they feel prior to testing situation and will increase their perceptions of their preparedness for assessments.
  2. Learning outcomes will be assessed via pre/post test measuring their perception of their confidence in their study skill abilities including organization, time management, ability to communicate with teachers, and test preparedness.
  3. The module will be presented in seven sessions during Indian Time (40 min) spanning over two marking periods.

Session 1: Introduction (10/26/16)

Introduction to the module-notify students of learning goals and make group introductions.  Explain hybrid format of Achievement Seminars.

  • Give pre-test via Schoology
  • Show video on confidence
    • why is this important?
    • discuss critical points for building confidence
  • Show video on successful person versus unsuccessful person
    • discuss differences
  • If time allows, assign study skills booklet and explain how we will use it.

Discussion Questions to be posted before Session 2:  What is one personal goal you have for yourself during these seminars (i.e. improve math test scores, set up a planner, have no missing assignments for a marking period)?  Give one example of a time during this week that you have exhibited a quality of a successful person.

Session 2:  Study Skills (11/9/16)

  • Show Video-Study Skills for people who hate to study
    • discuss how we relate to these feelings
  • Show Video-9 Scientific Study Tips
    • break into small groups and choose top 3 study tips.  Discuss why you like them best and how you plan to use them for a specific upcoming test/quiz
  • Study Skills Booklet
    • activity 1??
  • Review discussion questions from last week.
  • Reminders to continue to check in on Schoology for during week we are not meeting

Session 3:  Test Preparation and Reducing Test Anxiety (11/30/16)-I picked this topic for this week b/c it is 2 weeks before semester exams and a lot of my group is freshman and this will be their first experience with semester exams.

  • Video on test anxiety
    • discuss the physiological responses to anxiety
  • Best way to reduce test anxiety is to Be Prepared
    • handout on test taking tips
    • handout on strategies for reducing test anxiety
  • Work in small groups to discuss test taking strategies they have used in the past.  Successful or not?  Identify at least one new strategy they will put in place for upcoming test/quiz/exam

Session 4:  Time Management and Organization (1/11/17)

  • Share various options for tracking deadlines-planners, electronic alarms, online calendars
  • Give scenarios of things to get done and a timeframe and have the students work out plans for meeting deadlines

Session 5:  Communication Skills and Self-Advocacy (1/25/17)

  • Video for communication
  • Role Play in small groups to practice communication with teachers

Session 6:  Study Skills (3/1/17)

  • Review of skills and strategies we’ve discussed so far.  Favorites?  Things that have worked?  Have goals been met?
  • Give Post-Test


*The last 3 sessions are not fully developed yet.  I am still identifying resources and specific content I want to include.




Differentiation in Online Learning-Captain

I tried several different Google searches using “differentiation in online instruction” paired with “communication” and with “self-advocacy” and did not get any satisfactory results.  Most results were similar to information we’ve already covered regarding the best practice of communication.  Once I switched to “differentiation strategies in online environments” I found:


I settled on this one because of the following information:

#4 Differentiate Instruction Through Online Work

In a blended learning classroom, there is often online work that needs to occur. This might be a module on specific content, formative assessments, and the like. However, students may or may not need to do all the work that is in a specific module. In an effort to individualize instruction, use the online work to meet individual students needs. Whether an extension of learning, or work to clarify a misconception, the work that occurs online can be more valuable to students when it is targeted. Students are no longer engaged in uninteresting busy work, but focused, individualized learning.

I really wasn’t all that impressed with the results that I found and did not uncover any information that wasn’t presented in the readings for this week.  I am interested to see what others came up with.

There are lots of similarities in differentiation in online instruction and face-to-face instruction.  Content can be given in multiple ways (text, audio, video) and various assessments can be used in both formats.  Teachers can offer students a variety of choices to access materials and cues for prompting in both formats.

The main difference in differentiation strategies with online learning and face-to-face is in the technology used to present material.  Students need to be able to navigate the learning module and access all content areas.  I think minimizing distractions and making the learning module as streamlined as possible is very important.  While I found the Universal Design for Learning website interesting my initial reaction was that the print was very tiny and they had A LOT of information crammed into one space.  I also had to do a fair amount of clicking to check out all the different options and then retrace my steps which I found a little overwhelming.  The checkpoints I was initially drawn to were optimizing motivation, facilitating coping skills, support planning and strategy, and support memory and transfer.  I was excited to see the Quizlet resource there because it was something I recognized our teachers often using and a resource that I advise students to access when we are doing academic counseling.

Another difference is in student discussion and face-to-face participation.  You cannot recreate this in an online environment.  Students can provide answers to discussion questions online and even participate in real time chats with each other, but a question and answer or lively discussion conversation after reading a poem or conducting a science experiment is only possible in a traditional classroom.

I plan to use differentiation in my module by varying how content is presented.  Since my module is a hybrid, this variation will occur face-to-face and through Schoology.  I am going to use videos to deliver content and act as conversation starters.  Theses conversations will occur face-to-face and also through discussion posts online.  I am also planning to incorporate a study skills work book for written content and have the students engage in interactive role play and group discussions.

Best Practices in Online Teaching-K. Captain

I see a lot of similarities in the  best practices for online teaching and best practices for face-to-face instructions.   Things like maintaining a presence in the classroom, facilitating communication between students and between student and teacher, using differentiated instruction to meet the needs of more (all) students.  I could name a lot more.  The similarities are there because online instruction and face-to-face classes have the same basic goal-get the content to the student in as many ways as possible so that they can master the subject matter and demonstrate that mastery.  The main difference is the emphasis on knowledge of and use of technology.  I do believe that a majority of teachers are incorporating technology into their face-to-face classes in many ways, but with online instruction, its impossible to deliver the content without it.

I went back over both documents and I was unable to really pinpoint any best practice that I found to be invalid.  I would certainly prioritize some as more important.  For example, understanding the learning style of your students.  Or, establishing a presence in the course in order to motivate students and also hold them accountable.  Also, having extensive knowledge of the content area being taught.  Others I wouldn’t call invalid, but I felt like they were simply best teaching practices overall and I didn’t necessary think it was needed to label them specifically for online learning.  Like, going the extra mile to support student learning-that’s just called doing your job as an educator.  Another best practice I did not see the validity in listing was making sure course content is accurate and relevant.  Sorry to sound unprofessional here-but, duh!  Thinking more about this, it makes me wonder if the authors were just trying to lengthen their list by stating the obvious?  Or maybe I should cut them some slack and they were just being thorough…and I should just remind everyone that I’m not a classroom teacher so feel free to call me out if I am off base here.

When I read the article, I did not see the best practice of parent communication included; however, the NEA’s guide to online teaching did include this.  I feel this is needed, just like in a traditional classroom, to keep parents informed of the expectations for the class, progress throughout the class, and any issues or concerns that might come up.  The messages I see the most for our online students are regarding pacing.  This seems to be a concern for a lot of first time online students as they are learning how to manage the online class with their other classes.  Without a teacher in person holding them accountable, I often see students taking advantage of the flexibility of the online environment and getting off pace in the class.

I feel like both resources provided a pretty conclusive list of best practices.  I would like to see more replications of the study done in 2008 with larger sample sizes in varying areas to see how the results differ.  I would also be interested in more information on hybrid courses as I feel like these incorporate the best of both worlds.  Some student feedback in both of these areas would be relevant.




Current Status of Digital Learning

The current state of digital learning seems to be one of growth and expansion.  More students and schools are accessing online courses which is offering a wider variety of options for courses for students within a public school setting as well as in private or homeschool situations.  The growth also seems to bring with it some complicated layers as there are more suppliers to consider, state laws to follow, and technology advancements to keep up with.  An area of impact on online learning I had not considered was teacher licensure requirements.  It can be very time consuming and expensive for teachers to obtain licensure in multiple states in order to teach online courses.  This limits teachers to teach only in the state that they have licensure in, which could impact the availability of courses to students if they do not have qualified teachers to teach the course.

Since I do not have a classroom, the resources I found most useful were how digital learning opportunities could help those students in homebound situations or those in need of credit recovery.  The options for AP courses or specialty courses not available in my school are also of interest since I want to know all that is available for my students and I provide academic counseling services in the form of scheduling and future planning.  On the iNACOL website there were several links under their Promising Practices resources tab that discussed credit recovery and blended learning environments.

Some things I did not find within these two sources was information on the resources needed for these personalized learning environments.  They sound great in theory, but where is the money coming from to pay for these online classes and to pay for the teachers to monitor them?  I also have some concerns in this area with credit recovery.  It is a wonderful option for that self-motivated student who can work independently.  But, usually “self-motivated” and “independent” are not traits we find in our students that require credit recovery.  In order to use online courses for credit recovery, I think we could benefit from an online period during the school day where a teacher can be monitoring and offering assistance to make sure the student progress through the courses in a timely fashion.

In addition to these questions, I am also wondering if online learning, at least at the high school level, has plateaued in its growth.  A traditional school setting is what the majority of students require to be successful.  In addition to the academics, classroom teachers are teaching students organization, responsibility, teamwork, leadership, I could go on and on listing skills our students need to be productive adults.  They cannot obtain these through strictly online interactions.  In addition to teaching these skills, classroom teachers model them and use incorporate so many teaching strategies that could not be replicated in an online setting.  However, for college level work, I see online learning continuing to grow.  More and more students will want to access online learning to supplement their college experience or to replace the traditional college experience all together.  This would allow them to work more and with college becoming more and more expensive, finances are a huge concern for students.  I also think it would allow them to access more programs and coursework if they are not bound geographically.

I read the blog post: Time Matters: How We Use Flexible Time to Design Higher and Deeper Learning.  I chose this one because of the tags “practice” and “accountability” and because the intro reminded me of a discussion I had with a student recently about using time efficiently.  The blog discusses the need for more long-term projects and assignments because learning on a deeper level takes more time to accomplish.  In my job, I am trying to help students learn the skills necessary to be successful learners throughout high school and as they enter higher education and/or the working world.  It is my goal, along with all educators, to send them out of our building equipped with life skills so that they may be productive citizens.  So, the long-term project I am focused on is the development of study skills, organization, and effective test-taking strategies.  This gets a little tricky, because success here could look different for various students.  Some students enjoy list making and paper calendars, some students prefer electronic alerts and using their devices to keep track of due dates.  My plan with my hybrid module is to offer various strategies and give them opportunities to use these (hopefully experience success with them) and thus improve their communication skills and their confidence in their academic abilities.  Goodness, what a lofty goal.  🙂


My topic is Achievement Seminars which will include ways to improve study skills, reduce test anxiety, and improve overall academic organization.  I am hoping that the use of technology with this topic will improve the teaching and learning because the students will be actively involved in learning the information versus just listening to me lecture.

I am planning to use Schoology, which will be yet another new technology learning experience for me.  I have posted in groups, but never run my own course through schoology.  I want to use an online survey to pre/post test the students regarding their perceptions about their current study skills, testing issues, and/or organization skills. I also plan to use the discussion board option within Schoology and possibly incorporate some videos or some other online tools.  If anyone has some ideas about other technology I could incorporate, I would certainly appreciate it!

I am going to run a hybrid format for the seminars.  Face-to-face meetings during Indian Time, thinking 4-6 times.  Then, discussions and/or assignments to complete via Schoology in between face-to-face meetings.  I plan to recruit students via Schoology sign-up and I am going to focus mainly on freshman.  Depending on how much interest I have, I may also extend it to sophomores.  I feel like I will have greater participation if the students volunteer for the group versus being referred by the parents or counselors.  If attendance is forced upon them, I think it will be unlikely that I will get much participation in the online portion of the course.

One common misconception with my topic is students who believe there is no room for improvement in their study skills.  I have so many students who do not understand how they received a poor grade on a test or a quiz because they spent 15 minutes “looking over their notes”.  I plan to offer several different options for more active study habits and get students motivated to change their effort level rather than increase time studying.  I think students also struggle with communication.  They do not let their teachers know when they don’t understand a concept.  They do not show initiative in asking for extra help or even letting their parents know they are having trouble.  I am hopeful that after the course, students will understand the importance of communication and after some role-play and discussion will feel more comfortable speaking up.

Community of Inquiry

The reading for the COI was definitely the most challenging thus far.  I found myself re-reading a lot with the article and struggling with the wordiness of it.  The graphic showing social, cognitive, and teaching presence was the most helpful for me and I found myself referring to it often.  Having a strong connection between the three of these is the best way to shorten transactional distance.  For me, the concept of social presence was the most critical.  Two categories the authors mentioned within social presence were “open communication” and “group cohesion”.  I identify with the idea that as course participants, we are all in this together with a common goal of learning the content presented, but also sharing how we can incorporate this into our professional lives.  I think the transactional distance is shortened when a network of students is created that we are all invested in.

As I am thinking more about the creation of my learning model, I feel like a hybrid course instead of strictly online is my only option.  My students will be volunteer participants and while I am hopeful they will be willing and active in the sessions, that is not always the case.  For this reason and since a grade requirement won’t be attached to my course, my teaching presence will have to be more structured and more face-to-face.  The content for the course will not be brand new information and I hope to be reinforcing what their classroom teachers are already telling them so it will be less about them retaining specific facts and content as it will be about developing skills and attitudes related to learning.  It is through social presence that I hope to get the most of my student involvement.  In person, they might be embarrassed to be in this type of group setting and not as willing to contribute, but through online discussions and some interactive options (that I haven’t figured out yet) I am looking to get more involvement.

The only personal experience I have that comes close to this is the use of Blackboard as a discussion tool with some of my graduate courses.  Using Blackboard was a way to connect social, cognitive, and teaching presences much in the same way we use these blog posts.  Reflecting on the content of the course while connecting with other students and receiving teacher feedback contributed to the overall educational experience of the course.