Collaborate with educators to develop authentic, active learning experiences that foster student agency, deepen content mastery and allow students to demonstrate their competency.
When I worked in ETM, I had the opportunity to work with faculty for five and half years, on various aspects of their courses. Sometimes it was fixing something, sometimes it was course planning, or program development. In each of those interactions, while I could just fix the issue and move on, I also thought it was a good opportunity to learn more about their courses and reasons behind why something is setup the way it is. These conversations allowed me to then ask follow up questions to help both them and myself think about their courses in new and different ways; which led to some faculty to make adjustments to their courses in order to make them more authentic activities while providing agency.
In the DEL program I explored this more when I talked about how we could foster more creativity in portfolios, encourage more participation in hackathons, and make an asynchronous course more “active.”
At work I also put together some resources to help faculty further develop their courses, based on lessons we had learned in the pandemic. This lead to the creation of an Online Course Checklist, Strategies to Humanize Online Courses, a Course Map Planning Template, and an Online Course Beset Practices slideshow on the ETM website.
Help educators use digital tools to create effective assessments that provide timely feedback and support personalized learning.
Part of creating effective assessments is having clear learning objectives and activities that are aligned to the objectives. Without both, it’s not possible to assess someone because both you and the student aren’t clear on what was learned and what people should know. I’m working on a course right now for onboarding and was provided some material, however, when I went through my course planning process, I found that I didn’t understand what it was that people who took the course, were supposed to know or do upon completion of the course. The questions and activities in the assessments only partially aligned with the content; I was confused.
Once the course objectives and content has been aligned, it then becomes easier to create assessments. In ETM we talked a lot about assessments in digital courses. One of our recordings in particular, what assessment is, the differences between formative and summative, traditional and authentic, as well as rubrics and feedback. In another video on Inclusivity & Accessibility, we also talked about students can be impacted by assessments, including knowing what’s being assessed or even the impact a linguistically heavy exams or project could have on a multi-lingual learner when provided agency and variety of methods for students to show their knowledge.
Last year, I also worked with my aunt to prepare a presentation on alternative assessment methods that she uses in her teaching. I also created a mini presentation about the event for the DEL program too. It was really interesting to learn more about how she utilized holistic rubrics, had students sort, classify, and create, explore boundaries, and did video interviews that were as rigorous if not more rigorous than a paper exam.
Collaborate with educators to design accessible and active digital learning environments that accommodate learner variability.
Creating accessible online spaces is a strong area of interest for me. I plan on delving into this topic more under ISTE Standard 4.7: Digital Citizen Advocate, but I recognize that accessibility has already come up and will continue to come up between the time I’m writing this content and when I finish the writing content for the final standard.
One of the strategies my supervisor and I employed in order to break down the stigma of the amount of work it may take to make a course accessible, was to weave it into the overall process. In conversation, I often found that faculty already spent hours preparing their courses and then they find out that they also need to do the work necessary to make their course accessible and they don’t know where to begin or what they should do.
So we talked about accessibility as part of course design, don’t just make videos, but make videos with captions. When building content in Canvas make sure you use document structure, use the various accessibility checking tools to help you take care of issues faster, etc. Some of this I touch on in my course development process, but I also talk about accessibility not just in terms of specific accommodation, but in terms Universal Design for Learning (these are pages I wrote when I served on the task force).
Another way I worked with my former department to make content more accessible, was to purchase and locate tools that would help both faculty and staff create accessible content. This included a tool called SensusAccess, listing tools on the ETM Accessibility page, and delving into how assistive technologies empower all learners.
Model the use of instructional design principles with educators to create effective digital learning environments.
The two winter academies that ETM put on, as well as the Spring and Summer Teaching Academies I think are the best examples of how I modeled the use of instructional design principles with educators. These “courses” were setup in Canvas and we set them up to look like what we would want a good online course to look like.
We utilized things like accessible course design, backwards course design and alignment as well as live synchronous sessions and authentic active learning activities to both showcase ETM’s skillset, but also to train and help faculty gain a better understanding of online course design and the technologies that ETM supported that could be integrated into courses.
Read more about the Academies on ETM’s website.