As I sit and write this final post reflecting on Kelly and my course prototype, I am also thinking back to the fall of 2014 when I first started this whole Graduate Studies journey! It is a very bittersweet feeling to know that although I will have my nights and evenings back to spend with my family and extra curricular commitments, I will truly miss the conversations and experiences that these classes have brought with them.
Kelly and I got started right away brainstorming just what we thought would be the best unit to start making into a blended course for our VAP students. Read here to learn more about who we developed these modules for:
Here are some previous blog posts where we described the process behind choosing our LMS and putting together our prototype for a VAP Career and Work Experience 18/28/38 unit:
Submitting our prototype for a random sampling of colleagues within this class to provide feedback for ourselves was both daunting wondering how we would measure up to the rest, and equally exciting to share what we had put together! The peer evaluations were wonderful and provided us with a lot of feedback to think on and decide how and what we might change up before using this module in our classrooms. The first major feedback that we received and were waiting to hear about was that our module was not accessible for a couple of days after we had submitted it! Talk about STRESSFUL! We apologize to those that were waiting to go in and give us feedback. Kelly and I brainstormed and emailed back and forth with Katia and Alec and long story short, had to re create our modules into the UofR Google Classroom domain. Thank you for your patience and to Katia and Alec for replying to all of our late-night, frantic emails! 🙂 In our classrooms this would not have been noticed as all of our students are set up with RBE domain emails, but for any “outsiders,” they would only be able to log in using the Uof R account. Kelly and I would also like to send a thank you to Kelsie and Andres for the quick replies within our Community – notice the same initials as Katia and Alec!!
There was a lot of great, positive feedback as well:) Our peer evaluators found our modules to flow well, with a suggestion to add in more modules as there was just the 2 of us. They mentioned that the LMS (Google Classroom) was attractive, easy to follow/navigate, and our course profile was a great help as it sounded like those that provided feedback didn’t have experience teaching in a VAP classroom. They also liked the variety in teaching methods and resources – thanks!
In moving forward, I liked the suggestion of providing a brief video or some other type of introduction to us as the teachers to allow for the students to know who their teachers are. I like this idea, and think it would be a fun way to introduce the lesson, but all of the students should be coming to school everyday and working within our classroom. Introductions are always nice and would be another fun way to have students use technology. An activity similar to the one we first did on our first class in EC&I 834 would fit well.
Another piece of feedback was being sure to teach students all of these technology applications prior to assigning them. This is great advice and something that we should maybe have spoken to in our profile. Students are all set up in Google Drive and in some classes with other teachers, use Google Classroom. Kahoot has been used before in our classrooms. Blogging would be new and we would have all students create accounts at the beginning of the semester so they would be able and comfortable with the blogging assignments. We would also look at re-doing the video in module 2 – Kelly has a house full of teenagers and needed to get to somewhere quiet…while we had a good laugh, he also agrees that he would re-do that recording somewhere else before any of the students are in the actual module!
Thank you to all of you that provided the feedback and for the opportunity to learn with and FROM so many of you techy, techy people! I am so enjoying enhancing my lessons with these fun and engaging apps and plan on putting all content into Google Classroom for all of my classes in the fall!