- 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.
- 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.
- 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.