Unit 3

Activity 1

As a future teacher (or e-tutor) we need to keep closely in mind that not all students will form independence since not all people learn in the same manner. I think that this is a common mistake that is recurrent in modern teaching philosophy, that at the end of the day we end up conceiving the students as a homogeneous mass that will construct meaning with the same resources as Vygotsky pointed out with his zona bljižajšjevo razvjitjija (Zone of the most proximal development) that not all will learn the same with the same assistance or guidance (Wertsch, 1995 pp. 30-75). Further more, as Lea (2004) remarked, that not all students will have the same literary practices because “literacies […] are cultural and social practices, and vary depending upon the particular context in which they occur” (p. 740). For most students independence in learning is synonymous with negligence from part of the teacher, since for most there is a sense well justified feeling of abandonment from the detachment from traditional education when compared with distance learning. The development of multimodal forms of expressing the learning outcomes seams more as a way in which to confront the construction of knowledge in a more contemporary way and this can only be done by implementing to crucial innovations which are a flexible way of submitting learning outcomes (by distancing from the verbal centralism and considering more technological representations of knowledge, such as mind maps, Slide presentations, graphic, videos, etc.) and the other is by allowing a flexibility of grading (this is, to establish a grading parameter that can be personalized by each student). As a conclusion I will state that we need to take the most advantage in distance education to create knowledge and not just forward it.

References:

Wertsch, J. (1995) Vygotsky y la formación social de la mente. Paidos: Barcelona.

Lea, M. R. (2004). Academic literacies: a pedagogyfor course design. Catax publishing.

Activity 2

The squirrel

Send an e-mail to the squirrel where the e-tutor states that he/she perhaps understands why he/she acts as he/she does, but strongly arguing that his/her participation could be more enriching if he/she puts more attention to the participation of other e-mates.

The stag

Advise him/her to be less aggressive in the number of comments, commenting him/her that he/she might benefit from other’s opinion.

The magpie

Foment a more ethical participation by advising him/her to give credit to other, indicating that if he/she fails to do so he could get into serious trouble, since some education institutions severely punish plagiarism.

Response to the posting by an e-student

Form: Rubén, your e-tutor

Subject: Re: Learner types

Dear Raul B. your participation based on personal experience was enriching, but I will advise you to elaborate more your participation about the topic. I could sure be interesting to learn from what you learned in your COTE course. I would advise you to compartmentalize your schedule, this way you will not feel overloaded. Another thing, you could reduce the brilliancy and contrast to your monitor, this way you will not hurt your sight that much.

By the way, what is Rebecca Oxford’s book title?

Regards,

Your e-tutor, Rubén

Activity 3ª

There is an aspect common to the three of them, they are stated quickly, but this works as a two blades sword. For the first one, the sense is that of an overtly simplified sentence, that can be seen, in certain way as a cold impersonal sentence that has the sole purpose of extracting student’s problems instead of focusing on building knowledge.

For the second one, although it is highly personal and friendly, it is not clear what it is expected from the students.

For the third one, the tone is friendly, and the task is somewhat clear, but there is no clear idea of what the product will be.

My objective:

(An opening message for a conference about inflection on a Russian grammar course) “Hello every one, have you ever had trouble understanding how sentences are build, and how they can convey meaning? In this e-conference we will discuss the role of words within sentences and how they function as a system, by the end of the conference you will be able to understand the subtle differences that inflection causes. Your e-tutor.

Activity 3b

My technique: Braking texts: the students will receive a text, and will have to make a cartographic

analysis of the text, then they will have to divide it and make a summary of each part. It is important for them to keep communication in order to avoid repeating information. Then students will have to share all their summaries in order to create a general summary.

Activity 3c

My answer to the question:

Dear poster, it is natural for students to think that you are the all knowing source of knowledge, it is the result of our cultural structure of education. I would suggest you to give them guiding answers, instead of trying to give them all the information. Use hyperlinks that can serve students to discover the answers by themselves.

Activity 3d

50-word summary:

There might be an endless selection of possibilities that can help us with our students, but there are some aspects that you need to take in mind: make the learner read guide their learning, and asking Ss to create their own definitions.

Activity 4

Unit 1, Activity 3 (1.3.)

Criterion: quality of contributions.

For this activity I would assess first of all, the quality of the participation, based on a band system:

4 (100% – 86%) Reflects understanding, expressed with own words and includes backup information such as diagrams, mind map or quotation.
3 (85% – 71%) Reflects understanding and stated in own words, but lack back up.
2 (70% – 51%) Improvised; does not address the main issue.
1 (50% – 0%) Participated with nonsense.
Flunk the course plagiarism

and as a bonus aspect the framework of time acceptance, which can be overlooked if the student justifies the absence adequately (which would be: two days before the due date: +.02; one day before the due date: +.01; on the deadline: +.005; one day late: -.1; two days late: -.2; etc, up to five days late: -1, which is the whole grade If the task is not posted before the unit ends, then it would count as absence).

Timeframe Grade impact
Two days earlier or more +.02 (2%)
One day before due date +.01 (1%)
On deadline +.005 (.5%)
One day late -.1 (-10%)
Two days late -.2 (-20%)
Five days late -1 (-100%)
After the end of the unit -1 + absence (-100% + absence mark).

And the third aspect that I would consider would be presentation and appropriateness, also evaluated by a band:

+ Appropriate use of language and does not demonstrate rudeness towards classmates. Uses a clear typography. ± Uses a clear typography.
± Appropriate use of language and does not demonstrate rudeness towards classmates. – Foul language, misspellings, and a typography that is difficult to read.

Five criteria

  1. The participations are meaningful and related to the student’s reality. There should be a sense of thinking in auto realization in terms of participation and not just participate for the sake of doing so.
  2. The published contribution is concrete and filled with content; on the other hand, a wordy contribution but with no content lacks meaning and value. The meaning is more important than the code used to deliver the message; basically students should be taught to not be fooled by appearances.
  3. The usage of multimodal ways of supporting ideas should be encouraged by giving more point, or credit point. There should be an encouragement to expand creativity and to try to get the most from multimodal ways of learning and working, acknowledging the different intelligences.
  4. The activity should be completed within an acceptable time frame.
  5. The appropriateness in form and presentation should be rewarded; those contributions with unclear presentation, or difficult typography should be encouraged to be corrected within an appropriate timeframe, because the important thing is not the product, but the learning outcome.

Personal development plan:

Development aim: To achieve a more honest participation from the students.

Development objective: To decrease excess of words and to increase a focus on meaning by giving examples of how to tackle meaning, and encouraging students to follow the example.

Strategy: To work as a row model for students.

Actions:

– Answer the activity at the beginning of the forum, to set an example, advising students to not copy the content but to produce their own.

– Participating on the last two dates before the forum ends, in order to demonstrate interest on content.

– Provide incentives for content based on minimal plus in grades.

– Use a concise and warm style.

– Reward those participations that include meaningful quotes.

– Discourage plagiarism.


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