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The Communication Process

A Lesson Proposal; Signature Assignment for EdX Instructional Design Models

The Communication Process

As a language learner and teacher, experience, education, and training have shown me that knowing and becoming familiar with the nature and scope of the communication is fundamental to become a better communicator of the target language.  This short lesson that could be covered in 20 minutes has two parts: (1) elements and types of communication and (2) the Transactional Communication Model and common barriers affecting it.

Goal of instruction: Introduce English language learners to the foundation of the communication process

Objective 1: Exhibit understanding of a message by paraphrasing and/or summarizing

Task A: 1. Students read a short article about the communication process. 2. They mark, highlight, or underline words, phrases, or sentences that they find meaningful. 3. Students share three most striking lines from the article.

Measurement 1: Students submit an explanation (2-3 sentences) for every striking point. This evaluation scheme looks into the depth of their explanation.

Objective 2: Prepare and outline coherent and succinct messages

Task B: 1. Students choose a section from a long article about the Transactional Communication Model. 2. After reading, they prepare to render a 30-second summary.

Measurement 2: Students submit their short summary through an online voice recording app. This evaluation scheme checks how well students organize ideas gathered from the given material.

Objective 3: Reflect on the different aspects affecting the communication process

Task C: 1. In 50-80 words, students write about the most valuable learning gain they acquired through this lesson. They may also focus their reflection on questions that they still have or link this lesson with a related educational material or personal experience. 2. They then add their reflection as a post to a class discussion thread.

Measurement 3: Students respond to their peers’ reflection through a forum.  This evaluation scheme weighs the scope and relevance of feedback students share through their responses.

Dick and Carey Model

Week 3 Output EdX Instructional Design Models

Video Transcript

Step 1: Instructional Goal In an adaptive school, the team must always take the time to ask the question: “Why are we doing this?” In UbD planning, we ask Essential Questions and lay out Enduring Understanding. Step 1 of Dick and Carey can be likened to how successful people always keep the end in mind. Looking back to my ADDIE map, the instructional goal I identified is to help learners develop and polish their communication and learning skills.

Step 2: Instructional Analysis Going back to the concepts of an adaptive school, this stage of the Dick and Carey model is synonymous to the question: “Why are we doing this, this way?” Course objectives must be based on who the learners are, what they can do, where I want to see them, and how I can best facilitate their learning process to achieve the goal that was identified earlier. An aspect of the goal is to get students become better communicators. Instruction and materials that I will prepare should introduce and practice effective listening and speaking skills.

Step 3: Entry Behaviors and Learner Characteristics In order to offer engaging lessons, students must be encouraged to take an active approach to learn. It is important that teachers and facilitators take the time to know more about who the students are as thinking and emotional individuals and that they are all unique. This step reminds me of a conversation I had with colleagues during lunch last week. They were trying to figure out what made a teacher tell students that their diagnostic exam was graded. I will have students share why they are taking the course and what they are expecting to gain from completing it.

Step 4: Writing Performance Objectives Every lesson counts. To make each truly count, objectives (why students should be learning it) must be clearly laid out. I wish to use here the given acronyms: CNbCR. CN (conditions) focuses on a description of the target skill identified. B (behavior) focuses on the target action, content, and/or concept. CR (criteria) focuses on a description of an acceptable performance of the skill identified earlier. For my course, students will be able to apply effectively one or two listening skills when they take notes of the given recorded lecture. When they share their reflection, students can then talk about the listening skills they focused on to complete the task.

Step 5: Developing Assessment Instruments Students not only need to know why they have the lessons shared, why they are completing a particular project, but also need to understand how their output will be evaluated. This is when rubrics are needed. Criteria and descriptors laid out in rubrics will guide students on what standards to meet, how they will achieve them through the project, what components they should complete, and what feedback should they expect from the facilitator or their teacher. My rubric may include a criterion on listening comprehension to check how much of the information shared did the students actually understand.

Step 6: Instructional Strategy This answers the question how the lesson will be presented. One of my favorite strategies is 10/2. After 10 minutes of instruction or work focus, the class pauses for two minutes to talk about what has transpired or to free write.

Step 7: Instructional Materials This stage is meant to determine the materials or resources students will have to complete the summative assessment. This could be a list of relevant video clips or reading materials. Effective instruction calls for decent amount of time dedicated to find the most useful resources out of the profusion of teaching and learning materials both printed and on different online pages.

Step 8: Formative Evaluation This step answers the need to pay close attention to the overall flow of the class. Are the students really working towards realizing goals set? Are students excited and engaged and getting more confident to complete the summative task successfully? A series of mini listening tests can become part of the formative process for a note-taking summative.

Step 9: Summative Evaluation Reflection, feedback, exit survey – these are only few of the recurring and familiar strategies to anchor and propel course revision. This step evaluates the overall success of the course so organizers could improve essential components and have it readier for the next season of teaching and learning.

The Dick and Carey Model sums up the essence of being a teacher, a learning coach, or a course facilitator. Perhaps, I met this model when I started teaching and did not care much to understand it as much as I went through each step to complete this task today. Writing the skeleton of the class or the course guide or syllabus appears more straightforward if viewed as a process, as steps to take one by one, instead of components or empty boxes and cells to complete. Going from one step to the next forces course creators to understand the reasons behind each step. Instead of addressing components separately, going from step 1 to 9, like ADDIE, emphasizes the relationships between components building unto each other to make learning meaningful.

You have just watched an interpretation of the Dick and Carey Model.  What examples do you have in mind to complete each step?  Please share your thoughts.

References

Bensound. (2018). Creative minds [Audio file]. Retrieved from https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/track/creative-minds

D’Angelo, T., Bunch, J.C., & Thoron, A. (2018). Instructional design using the Dick and Carey systems.  UF IFAS Extension. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/WC/WC29400.pdf

Kurt, S. (2015). Dick and Carey instructional model. Educational Technology. Retrieved from https://educationaltechnology.net/dick-and-carey-instructional-model/

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A Course Plan – Using ADDIE and Brain Frames

Week 2 Output (EdX Instructional Design Models)

Instead of using mind mapping applications, I chose to complete the given assignment using Brain Frames by the Architects of Learning.  Notice the step by step completion of ADDIE as the main instructional design model used in this thinking map.  Notice how ideas are placed first before their relationships are traced.  I combined here the sequencing and categorizing frames.   In so doing, ideas about the future online course I will build are more organized and will surely stay in my mind way longer until I have to retrieve these thoughts again.  If bubbles and shapes will not show their overall flow and relationships, later on, it will be difficult to recall important components.

In Analysis, I answered questions on who will be my learners, what will they be learning in my course, and what materials will I be using.  I also thought of possible topics to include.  I included the key areas where I will look for more references and/or resources.

In Design, I thought of how a modular mode, a weekly coverage.  I thought that there should be a regular required task for students to complete.  This is to establish routine.  At the very start of the course, I should be sharing with students the final output they will be expected to complete.

In Development, I focused on the main documents to guide everyone involved in the course.  The language should be accessible by teachers and students to encourage independent learning.  The whole feedback loop should be visible and relevant to be meaningful and supportive.  Such quality will also keep everyone focused.

In Implementation, I wanted to highlight three important aspects – the level of questioning in class, the mode of presentation (always a combination of approaches), and the regular pacing that should be planned with students so they may take more responsibility and become active participants of the learning process.

In Evaluation, success of the course can be traced from the students’ overall performance.  Students should be given the opportunity to give their feedback to help improve the organization and presentation of the course.  The school administration can also help weigh its need, relevance, and contribution.

For other videos, please check my channel.

Learning Trends

Week 1 Discussion Output – Introduction and Short Commentary

Hi, everyone.  My name is JellSoL.  I have been teaching and learning with students (from preschool to graduate studies) for 18 years now.  I share my love of reading and doing research with learners from different cultures.  I taught in an accredited international school for 15 years.  I am currently connected with a government educational agency here in the Philippines.  I teach American Literature and Oral Communication to young government scholars of Philippine Science High School, also fondly called as Pisay.  This is my fourth EdX course, but my first class in the Micromaster program.  I am excited to know more about designing an effective and efficient online learning platform.  This audio-video file is a short commentary on learning trends.

The Objectivist Model.  This is the philosophy behind face-to-face classroom lectures –commonly referred to as a traditional teaching strategy and the most common teaching and learning presentation where the teacher, dubbed as the expert, transfers knowledge to students (Janicki, 2013).  This model is synonymous to lectures that define what the general population points as “the school.”  Several years of my life as a student saw me in these lecture halls.  Concepts loaded with technical terms are easily shared through this setup.  For having spelled what teacher-student relationship means, now and then, I see myself giving lectures, being the expert in the classroom transmitting knowledge to the younger generation.  These instances though, are becoming less frequent through the years, as I continue to adapt new teaching and learning approaches.

The Constructivist Model.  Students learn better when they are made more accountable of the learning process.  This model upholds that it is crucial that learners, by themselves, are given opportunities to discover answers and formulate questions; as opposed to be waiting for the experts to impart their knowledge (Janicki, 2013).  This approach marked a paradigm shift from a teacher-centered objectivist perspective to being student-centered constructivist.  A shout-out to my favorite and most beloved mentor, Dr Angel O. Pesirla, thank you very much for being a dynamic expert.  You have always been ahead of your time.  Even before I was bound to learn about teaching and learning trends, before I could learn their names, before such varied and differentiated approaches became the norm, you have already modeled a combination of these objectivist and constructivist outlook in our classes from undergrad to graduate years.

Learning Theory.  The bigger umbrella has the words Objectivist and Constructivist engraved on it.  One of their sub models are the learning theories.  Behaviorism capitalizes on modeling the task through direct instructions (the stimulus), providing feedback and allowing students to practice (the behavioral response or result) (IDC, 2018).  Thus, when given from a different angle, students may miss recognizing the stimulus and so they could not respond.  The example given was on teaching students how to send email messages.  When a teacher solely focuses on the parts of an email message (one stimulus-response scenario), not on why it should be written using a formal register, then students may fail to recognize the same concept at work when made to publish blogs or public posts in social media.

Cognitivism, on the other hand, highlights mental processes in learning (IDC, 2018).  It focuses on how students make meaning out of the given task, how they process information.  It keeps an eye on cognitive load to check if students are really focused on the given material or their attention has been divided for different reasons.  Students are shown models of the required output and are made to pay attention on the process to understand how they are going to go through it themselves to complete the task.  The example given can be taken as an interpretation of the objectivist model (when the teacher shared sample output and discussed required components) and a tap on the constructivist model (when students were made to analyze the process in order to identify then later retrace the steps to come up with the same results).

Learning Design.  The most striking point in Mor and Craftʼs (2012) paper is their opening statement when they shared, “we are also witnessing a shift of emphasis: from distributors of knowledge to designers of learning experiences.”  It is exciting to read an acknowledgement of this new demand in education, but a tad depressing that not everyone in the teaching world can support it as fast as it is evolving.  In summing up definitions shared to make the scope of learning designs (LD) more tangible, it is discouraging to note that both factors highlighted are doubly (or even triply) challenging in a developing country like the Philippines.  When they stressed the need to look into “how” computer systems should be constructed to orchestrate learning resources, local schools in the Philippines have intermittent Internet connection or not connected at all.  When they (Mor & Craft, 2012) pointed out the need “to find effective ways of sharing innovation in technology-enhanced learning (TEL),” teachers who are computer or information technology illiterate still exist in classrooms here and there are educators who are still debating the use of technology in the classroom when the rest of the world has moved on talking about guiding students how to become responsible and mindful digital citizens.  Learning Design as a field may still need to establish its scope, its overall grounding philosophy, and/or its platform.  Yet, does it have to? Is it not enough to take it as a pedagogical framework or as a point of reference when teachers and students acknowledge the need to mold a clear and meaningful learning path?

There are tons of names of approaches, strategies, theories, and models to remember.  At the end of the day, these terms turn into one crucial mass of considerations behind a teacher’s mindset with only one concrete question as he/she writes the lesson plan: how well will students learn?

You might want to check my audio presentation playlist.

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