Apply Computer-Based Technologies and Media to the Solution of Instructional Problems
In EDCI 575 I constructed a two-week micro course entitled, “Basics of LabVIEW”. The course is designed as a self-paced introduction to programming using National Instruments LabVIEW software. The idea for the course stemmed from a need for students to gain an understanding of the software prior to the implementation of the software within the existing face to face course (the software is used within the Engineering II course, a senior level elective). There are two means by which you can access this artifact:
I) If you would prefer to view the live course, please visit http://www.schoology.com and login using the following credentials:
If prompted for a school, enter “Culver Academies”.
II) Watch the linked video, which provides a four-minute walk through of the micro course: Basics of LabVIEW Course Overview
Sub-competency 8.1 –Plans and designs effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology
The course utilizes Schoology as a learning management system. Schoology provides an easy and intuitive means for students to progress through the activities, as well as interact with one another through the discussion threads. Schoology also allows for asynchronous learning, as the students in the micro course progress at their own pace, utilizing an existing 1:1 laptop program to deliver the course content.
Sub-competency 8.2 – Applies technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies
The structure of the course utilizes online quizzing and online work submission using the dropbox feature in Schoology. Students are allowed to quiz as soon as they are ready. The course also leverages the “student progress” feature, which requires that the students complete work sequentially to gain access to further assignments. This feature also allows for baselines to be clearly established. For example, the Basics of LabVIEW online quiz requires a minimum score of 70% to progress further in the course.
Sub-competency 8.3 – Demonstrates understanding of social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology and applies it in practice.
Culver Academies serves a diverse student population of learners from all over the world. The design and development of the course required the careful consideration of student privacy online, while also maintaining high levels of interaction and meeting the needs of a diverse group of learners. Many students require a level of security and anonymity with work that is done online, and as such, any web-based tool must be carefully considered to ensure that student information is not compromised. The use of Schoology to create an online learning micro-course allowed for students to interact with their peers socially, yet still maintained a walled garden of security where outside persons could not interact with them directly throughout their work on the micro-course.
The students that I have had thus far in Engineering II provided the baseline for the design considerations that I built into this micro-course. I wanted the course to flow at the pace of learner, while also providing a level of scaffolding and structure so that individual work would be feasible within the time constraint. The Engineering II course is an 8-week course, and most of the enrolled students have had little to no experience with software based programming. Through the implementation of previous iterations of the course, I was spending a disproportionate time troubleshooting “how-to” related questions with the use of NI LabVIEW. This micro-course is designed to help students progress through the learning process in a highly scaffolded manner. Discussions and contact information included within each of the three modules within the course functions to promote peer-to-peer discussion and reflection. While students are free to interact with one another within the course, the course itself is closed, providing a layer of security to student’s online activities.
Through the design of this micro-course, I developed a sense of basic components that work to enhance existing face to face coursework, the result of which is additional coursework that I am currently focusing on, dealing with utilizing Schoology as a discussion forum for summer work for incoming Advanced Placement Chemistry students at my new school where I will start in August. Specifically, I will be using Schoology to create review modules related to basic chemistry skills common to the AP Chemistry course as dictated by the College Board. Additionally, this work will lead to additional professional development presentations to faculty, where I can show the benefits of structuring an online learning space to enhance face to face coursework.