In this module, I spent time developing a review plan for my ID project on blogging on wordpress.com. Oddly enough, the process of developing the evaluation revealed aspects of the project that I seem to take a bit for granted before I even had any of the material evaluated. The most prominent of these is the fact that I had an inherent assumption that i would conduct the lesson in a teacher-centered format. This has been the vie win my mind’s eye all along the course of developing the project. Despite early warnings to be a developer and not a teacher in this process, apparently, I had a difficult time truly separating these two aspects.
As I developed my evaluation questions, this became apparent and caused me to shift the format of this lesson. AS a student in this course, this worries me a bit since I have been assuming one format and now see the merits of a different format. As a developer of the instructional materials, I am happy this has happened because it has given me more clarity on the format of the final lesson. Rather than focusing on development of the live lesson, I am now going to gear my efforts towards a student-paced, virtual lesson in the form of a series of screencasts. The shift to this format achieves some specific objectives that I had not previouosly accounted for:
- The students can learn at a more individual pace. As a teacher who has been through a number of workshops like this one, I have always felt a bit frustrated when I wanted to move on or needed a review of something previously presented and the workshop just kept rolling in a one-size-fits-all fashion. As series of screencasts allows learners to pick and choose topics they need help with. I love the individuality this creates.
- This format also allows for ongoing PD for future years. If this was presented at a spring in-service, then that group of teachers would have been better for the experience (as least that is my hope), but the following year, new teachers would not have that experience. By establishing an archive of materials such as this, ongoing PD specific to our school environment can be created.
- Though not specific to this lesson, another benefit is that teachers work through a process that models how many students learn today. The process of searching out tutorials online and applying them to their own needs is common among students, but not always among the faculty. This gives at least some experience in this in a more guided fashion.
While I am more excited about this shift to a screencast series, I also realize that I have just made a major adjustment to my project and workload ahead. I feel comfortable with the screencast technology, so that is not an issue as I move on. I will need to set aside a bit more time for development of these individual units, however. With deadlines approaching, this will be my biggest challenge.