ETEC 648- Session 1

  1. Introduce yourself. This introduction is for students in the class who may not have ever met you. Tell us who you are, what you do, why you are taking this class, what you do for fun, etc.

I am Griselda Caudill, and my husband and I are blessed with two daughters. Isabella is five years old and just started kindergarten, and Liliana is sixth months old. The girls are a lot of fun, and we like to take them on adventures to different places such as Dodger games and Disneyland.

I teach sixth grade in Riverside at Emerson Elementary. This is my fourteenth year in the classroom, and I have taught fifth grade, sixth grade, and fifth/sixth grade combination classes. In my classroom I have the GATE cluster, as well as ELD students. We are lucky that we have been adding to the technology in our classrooms for the past few years. In each sixth grade classroom we now have 10 iPads and 20 Chromebooks, which basically gives us a one-to-one ratio of technology to students for the first time. We are finding ways to integrate technology using best practices and are finding challenges along the way, but we continue to look for better ways to teach as we move forward with the Common Core State Standards.

My educational path started as a kindergartener. My first language was Spanish, and I did not begin to learn English until I started school. Thankfully, by second grade, I was fluent in English. I still remember having the custodian translate for my mom during parent conferences, and translating them myself once I had a better grasp of the language. I graduated from Pomona High in 1997. I was the first in my family to graduate from college with a degree in psychology from UCR in 2001. I began teaching in 2001 as an intern, while I worked on my teaching credential at UCR. Now, I’m attending CSUSB to earn my Masters Degree in Education with a focus on Instructional Technology. I started the program in the fall of 2013 with two of my friends and colleagues, Guillermina Gonzalez and Margarita Garcia, and we plan to complete the program and graduate in the Spring of 2015. The classes we have taken so far have already had an impact in what I do with my students in my classroom, and I look forward to learning and implementing more tools that will make me a better teacher.

  1. What connections do you currently have with eLearning, what do you want to do with eLearning, why are you taking this class?

The connections that I have with eLearning are the classes that I have taken so far as part of the Instructional Technology Masters program. So far, I have taken two hybrid classes and five online classes. This quarter, I am taking three online classes. It is a completely different experience than my undergraduate work in which I did not take any online classes. I have learned that each professor has his or her own style of teaching online. It is easy to tell which professors have taken the time to develop an online course compared to the professors who have taken what they do in a traditional course and made it fit into an online course template. I think that teaching online requires a lot of work to make a course engaging while not being face to face.

Professionally, it is important for me to learn about eLearning because it is the present and future of our educational system. Even though I teach sixth grade in a traditional classroom setting, there are many ways that I can begin to implement components of eLearning to make my classroom a hybrid classroom. Eventually, I may decide to teach some online courses for students or possibly for other teachers. I think that learning about eLearning now will give me a great foundation to build on as I move forward in my career.

  1. Copy and paste your best post from the Blackboard discussion forum. Explain why this post is your best and explain how it demonstrates your knowledge, your process for investigating topics or has helped you identify something you need to learn more about.

I chose this post because it addresses all the components of the discussion questions for the module that I was working on in my ETEC 501 course. I think it is an in depth response to the questions, and it shows that I used various resources to answer the questions. It also shows that I learned about how important feedback is in eLearning. I learned that audio feedback is good and easy way to give students feedback because it is more detailed than written feedback and is easier to provide to students.

One Criterion for a Successful e-Learning Course- ETEC 501

After all of my research on the topic and personal experience with e-Learning courses, I find that quality feedback is a key criterion of a successful e-Learning course.

According to Moore and Wallace (2012), good feedback consists of a variety of factors that include “being prompt, starting off with a positive comment, using informal language and offering personal help” (p. 6). They also stated that feedback allows the student to self reflect on the process of learning. Fish and Wickersham (2009) discuss that the interactions between the instructor and student can contribute to having “positive student performance, grades, and course satisfaction” in online courses (p. 282). Barron (2006) stated “If there is one thing that learners agree upon vehemently, it is the desire for timely, detailed, meaningful feedback. They want their work to be critiqued, not rubber-stamped” (p. 363). Yu and Brandenburg (2006) discussed that “faculty teaching distance education courses could provide online students with levels of interaction similar to their on-campus students” (p. 43). Therefore, students need to receive quality feedback in a timely manner and it can be done in an online setting given the right tools.

Receiving prompt feedback is important to me because it lets me know that I am either on the right path, or that I need to do something now to improve my work. However, it is also important that I receive specific feedback so that I know what it is that I am doing well and what I need to work on to improve the quality of my work. That takes more time and can make it more difficult to receive that kind of feedback promptly, especially if it is a large class.

According to Moore and Wallace, “the most effective feedback is that which is given at the time the learning is constructed” (p. 7). Fish and Wickersham state that the level of student satisfaction with online learning is higher when they receive prompt feedback that is relevant to their learning.

Moore and Wallace (2012) cited studies that found that students “believed audio feedback to be more detailed, personal, in depth, specific, and constructive than text-based feedback” (p. 7). One student in their study stated that “To be able to hear the tone of voice in which the feedback was given offers fuller indication of teachers meaning behind feedback. Far more detailed than written feedback” (p. 9). Most students also believed that the audio feedback helped them improve the quality of their work. They found that they were able to give detailed feedback to their students in a ten to fifteen minutes audio recording that would have taken them hours to write. This allowed for the feedback to be prompt and for students to be able to reflect on their work while it was still fresh on their minds.

Fish and Wickersham stated that students, who received consistent and personalized feedback from their professors, achieved better and were more satisfied with their classes. Barron states that students appreciate regular summaries that “pull ideas together to illustrate strategic points in the course” (p. 364). Moore and Wallace found that just giving a grade or providing narrow feedback is not enough for students. Students want feedback that gives suggestions on how they can improve and move forward in their learning.

According to Fish and Wickersham, grading rubrics for assignments make expectations clear for students. Barron states that rubrics need to be customized for each assignment in the course. The rubrics need to be clear and detailed. Dennen, Darabi, and Smith discuss the need for instructors to provide guidelines about the quality and quantity of assignments, and that the feedback they provide needs to be qualitative and quantitative. Rubrics give students an opportunity to see what they can do to improve their next assignment by comparing their scores to the given rubric.

Quality feedback in online learning should consist of taking the time to provide prompt feedback, using audio feedback as a tool to provide quality and prompt feedback to students, written feedback can be powerful when it is specific and gives suggestions for improvement, and creating rubrics for grading assignments so that students know exactly what is expected of them.

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16 comments

  1. Hi Griselda,
    When reading your introduction, it hit me that we have so much experience with eLearning! I think it was a great idea that you dug back to our first quarter for your best post because it relates so well to what we are learning in this course as well as that Educational Research course. I’m very glad that we have been able to continue taking courses together through our program. You are a great team mate and colleague!

    1. Hi Margarita,
      Surprisingly enough, we do have a lot of experience with eLearning. I think our experience is already helping us in our classrooms with our students. I am also glad that we have been on this journey together, and I can’t wait to be finished!
      Thank you!

  2. Hi Griselda,
    You bring up a great point about feedback. I think that it is even more important in online classes. I have found myself feeling adrift at times and wondering if I am on the right track when I have online classes where the professor does not provide feedback on a regular and frequent basis. I really hate waiting for several weeks to get feedback. By then, it is usually too late to make any correction. If it is about learning, the feedback can serve as a guide to promote learning rather than just a grade. This speaks to the discussion topic of Shallow vs. Deep learning. When students do not receive feedback, there learning tends to be more shallow with the goal being a grade, not the learning.
    When I was taking online classes at UCSD, there was one professor that always delayed feedback. Since the subject matter was new and the philosophical learning theory approach was constructivism, there was little guidance or feedback even on the discussion board. It was frustrating. It taught me how important it is not only to give grades a.s.a.p., but to provide explicit feedback. Fortunately, our CSUSB professors give meaningful feedback and I have found it to be very helpful in my learning process.
    Laura

    1. Hi Laura,
      Thank you for your feedback! I think about this every time I have a stack of work to grade! I know that my students need my feedback to grow, so I try really hard to keep up. I agree with you that we learn from the feedback that we receive, and the sooner we get it, the sooner we can make the changes that we need to make. I am also thankful that we’ve had CSUSB professors that have helped us grow!

  3. You are so lucky to have to friends doing this program with you- you have your own built in Learning Community. The one thing driving me nuts about studying online is the sense of isolation (that and being sick of staring at my living room walls).
    Your description of yourself translating for your parents makes me think of my own wonderful first generation college students. I hope you work in a school where you are a model for your own students.
    Best, Christen

    1. Hi Christen,
      I agree that I am very lucky to have two friends to work with as we work to complete this program! Thankfully, we have also met other classmates that are very supportive, even if we haven’t all met face-to-face. Our first quarter, we took one hybrid class, so we were able to meet quite of few of our classmates. You might want to consider a hybrid class in the future so that you don’t feel that sense of isolation. I am lucky that some of my students are also first generation students. The best part is how happy the parents are when they realize that they can actually have a conversation with me, or that they can write me notes that I can read!
      Thank you for your feedback!

  4. Hi Griselda,

    I am glad that we are all completing our Masters Degree in Education with a focus on Instructional Technology. It has been quite a journey so far. I am hoping that the most difficult part will be over this quarter since we are all taking 3 classes, working full time, and both have small children. I am glad that we have each other for extra support.

    This makes me think of our students who also need extra support. I remember when I was working with the 6th graders last Spring and we used a lot of technology with Google docs/power points, typing programs, writing code, etc. I could see how excited students were to get immediate feedback on their writing in Google docs. There were even RSP students who struggled with writing, so I worked with them in a small group. I noticed that they too were also highly motivated to complete their writing assignments and loved getting feedback on it through Google docs. It made me miss some aspects of being an upper grade teacher. Although, there are other things I do not miss at all. One thing that I am sure about is that I will be staying at the elementary school level and have given up on my pursuit of switching to middle school.

    Guillermina

    1. Hi Guillermina,
      I am so glad that we decided to work on this together, and that we are more than halfway done! I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without you and Margarita!

      It’s great that you were able to work with the sixth graders to get a taste of what middle school might be like! I’m glad you don’t want to leave just yet. Who knows, maybe we’ll all be teaching online classes soon. We’ve been working a lot with the different GOOGLE Apps this year, and I am struggling to give feedback online because it is so different than what I’m used to. What’s nice is that we are using GOOGLE CLassroom to organize all of their assignments, so they all end up in the same folder and I can give them a grade with feedback all online. I’m looking forward to learning more about how it all works because it is really motivating some of my students to do better work.
      Thanks again for your feedback!

  5. I enjoyed reading your initial post! Thank you for sharing your own story. And I also think that e-learning instructors would make much effort to deliver a high quality instruction than traditional class because it is not occurred in real classroom. Moreover, I believe that taking this ETEC648 class really can help you to not only get new knowledge about e-learning evaluation which is very important issue but also prepare the future of education. I am excited to take this class with you again! Thank you.

    1. Hi Hye Su,
      Thank you for reading! As a regular classroom teacher, I can say it also takes a lot of effort to deliver quality instruction in the classroom. However, since that’s what I’ve been doing for fourteen years, I think that developing and delivering a high quality eLearning course would require a lot of work. I am also looking forward to learning more about assessing online learners. Thank you for your feedback and I am glad we are taking another class together.

  6. Hi Griselda. You are a busy lady! How wonderful to be able to go through your masters program with friends, I bet it makes the classes slightly less stressful.

    I really like this quote “According to Moore and Wallace, “the most effective feedback is that which is given at the time the learning is constructed” (p. 7).” It is such a valid point. I agree that it is important to give immediate feedback, or at least give it within a reasonable time frame. I have had instructors wait weeks and by the time they are ready to give the feedback I have to go back to revisit what the assignment was about. When we are in that moment of learning that is the time to expand on the information so that our minds can process it.

    1. Hi Rachel,
      I’ve been much busier than I expected this quarter! I am so thankful that I am going through the program with my friends because otherwise I am pretty sure I would not have made it this far! It keeps us all from giving up when we are overwhelmed!

      Thank you for your feedback! I completely agree about receiving feedback late. It makes me feel that the feedback is not valuable because it is too late for me to do anything about it at that point.

      Griselda

      1. Hi Griselda, it looks like you and Guillermina touched on a very valid point in the process of assessment and feedback. Timeliness of feedback makes the comments regarding student work relative to what they are learning at that point. If the feedback is delayed the teachable moment passes and the student picks up process function or other bad habits that make it that much harder to enable them to succeed.

        When feedback gets delayed or is so late that students have to look back and remake the connections, make the topic relative again, an entirely new cycle of learning has to take place, Oftentimes to the detriment of both student and instructor.

      2. Thank you for your feedback. It reminds me of how important it is to give my students prompt feedback so that they can make the necessary adjustments and improvements before their next assignment.

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