In my current course, I have learned how to create an online learning course. My end goal when completing my graduate degree is to become an education technology campus facilitator. With my new found learning I can see how I would implement online learning courses in my district or campus. When helping teachers create their courses, the first thing we will need to do is decide the instructional design theory that would best reflect what they want to accomplish with their course and believe. I personally feel like a constructivism theory aligns best with online learning or blended learning environments. Constructivism means the teacher is more of a mentor and students are in control of their learning. When using blended learning students progress at their own pace which means they are in charge of their learning which in turn is what I hope to set up on my campus in the future.
After identifying with an instructional theory, I hope to introduce my teachers to the understanding by design template which will further help them set up their course expectations and outcomes. I really liked the Understanding by Design template because it has the teacher constantly evaluating exactly what they want their students to learn. During the planning teachers use the acronym WHERETO which has the teacher evaluate the purpose of each activity and focus on the learning opportunities. When creating one of these myself, I realized I had spent too much time on focusing on activities and not focused on exactly what the activity was teaching my students. WHERETO
After implementing the understanding by design template with my teachers, I’m sure many will ask why is this important and why should we be teaching online learning courses? My answer is simple, why not? We are in the 21st century, learning is readily available to any student with the help of a smart phone, tablet, or laptop. Why not reach our students where they are? I also love the idea of students working at their own pace. I have spent a lot of time in a public school setting where differentiating instruction is a struggle. The gifted students are given busy work, and the struggling students are not making the gains necessary to be considered on grade level. When completing an online learning course students are able to work at their own pace, and make the gains necessary or go above and beyond.
In all, I feel like this course has better prepared me for future job endeavors. I had never created an online course until this course. I can see the potential of creating online courses. I feel like this could be extremely beneficial in a blended learning environment, and would be a great way to house everything you want students to complete during their online learning piece of the day. I hope to do some more research with other programs such as schoology to see which would work best in younger grade levels.
Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.