Respond to feedback received:
- Assessment plan: The assessment for the Padlet assignment is outlined within the Google Classroom assignment. There is a rubric developed directly within the assignment. This provides criteria for the students to use, as well as the example and class discussion on assessment during the lesson.
- Feedback: Feedback for students will be provided from both peers and teacher. This will allow students to develop their ability to provide quality responses for future assignments and work on providing feedback to others. I feel that when students respond to their peers it gives them perspective in what kind of responses they provide and would like to receive as well.
- Cultural Considerations and Content: A sub-unit was suggested for teaching content which would include proper context for teaching the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada and terminology. This is work that would be covered both in cross-curricular context (in my History 30 course), as well as in earlier teachings within the course. It is important to cover these topics, as the ELA A30 course is Canadian literature and topics. Utilizing a local cultural advocate or Knowledge Keeper would make for great assets to the course. This is something that would I like to be used earlier or later in the course for a different thematic area (I would need to think about where to put it since I haven’t taught the course from beginning to end before!) One thing that I always try to do to provide historical background and context for students is have our division cultural advocate complete a blanket exercise with students. This helps to address the sensitive information, as well as my open-door policy with students who are able to talk to me about content and connections in their personal lives at any time and same with our school counsellor. With that being said, there is always more that can be done, and this is something that we can always add more of to make sure that the information is being covered properly and so that students are comfortable (or uncomfortable? Sometimes we have to have uncomfortable conversations to grow).
- Diversity and Differentiation: Diversity and differentiation are always a focus within my classroom to focus on achieving student success. This could be, providing more time, using additional technology (like Microsoft Translator is great), reducing workload, or one-on-one support. Our school uses TAG (Teacher Advisory Groups) which is a half hour time period where students can get extra support or help in any given subject. Diversity also comes in many forms, so this is something that requires serious consideration. Students’ abilities, language levels, backgrounds, trauma and anxiety are all considerations for diversity as well. These are things which I think we are always being flexible and adapting to, but that we can also always improve on. I truly feel as though I never teach a course the same way twice. For example: I had a class of 29 students and 23 were energetic males, I incorporated a lot more movement breaks, smaller chunked assignments, and even chunking the hour into 2 or 3 segments as often as possible. I really liked how the class was adapted and am doing more of this in other classes I am teaching as well.
- Technology Access: Chromebooks are available for all students to access in the building. Students are often given instructions the day before or right at the beginning of class to have their tech available if it will be used that day. If a student is missing, often they are able to access Google Classroom from home or many have their own technology because of a considerable level of affluence in the community. However, that is not always the case, so we have other options there too.
- Part of the discussion during class last week, was that all of our courses are developed through a personal lens. This means that we do not always include all of the little nuanced details which happen on a day-to-day basis within our classrooms, or with our particular students. So, many of the suggestions or feedback are things that are likely already addressed within the course.
- Through my own reflections, there are some small organizational details that I would change. Like, maybe including daily or weekly topics within Google Classroom or by the two bigger units rather than the sub-units. There are many topics/assignments, which overlap with multiple sub-units, however I don’t want the course to get too big and make it difficult to organize or for students to find the most up to date information.
- Language and terminology is important. Language is constantly evolving and I need to make sure that I am continuing to update my assignments, handouts and anything else that I use within the classroom context so that students can also learn what is most up to date. I appreciate this insight as my community and myself as a white, middle class female sometimes get stuck in the bubble within which I exist.
- Mindfulness on time. The module I created could take 15 minutes to implement and then some work time or it could extend to 3 hours. I am okay with whichever direction it takes, as I want students to engage and to have meaningful discussion. But, what I would not do is provide this as homework. For a couple of reasons: 1) I can keep an eye on students and try to monitor the work being done and be there to help/support any in need and 2) students are so busy that, I am more likely to get quality work completed if the time and structure is provided by their teacher. This goes for future modules and lessons within the course as well. I feel that to provide daily homework tasks is setting some students up for failure.
- Include Scaffolding or Layered Curriculum: This is something that I often do, but again it isn’t always expressed or outlined for others to see because I do it naturally based on the needs of the particular learners. Assignments can be layered to provide both choice and adaptability for abilities.
Accessibility and equity in course:
- Student digital literacy is something that we often take for granted. Bates outlines this in chapter 9 that it is “dangerous to assume that all students are ‘digital literate’.” I frequently find there are some that are reluctant to go and find the assignment or page on Google Classroom, but would prefer to have me print a page and put it in front of them. This is something that needs to be kept in mind, to teach skills and provide learning where needed.
- Using a web-based platform allows students to be able to use any device to access their work. Or they can download the app and it is very mobile friendly. I find that students are increasingly using their personal cell phones to complete work for a few reasons, convenience being one.
- Where possible I try to provide captions in videos, or transcripts of audio and video. In the past I have also found translated transcripts for EAL learners so that they are exactly on the same page as the rest of the class.
- Varying methods of delivery and varying media help appeal to all learners and learning styles. Triangulation of content as well as evidence of learning are key to helping student success.
- Providing student choice where possible makes content and learning opportunities more accessible to students.
- In addition, I try to use a consistent format for handouts, bolded headings, clear instructions, and rubrics to help students be clear on expectations. These are consistent in 20 Tips for Teaching and Accessible Online Course.
Much appreciated for the feedback from peers and look forward to any more!
I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing your course Shayna and you can definitely tell that is built with your students in mind. My recommendations for your course were definitely more additions and suggestions, rather than critiques, and I appreciate that you further explained some of the pre-requisites to help me situate your course.
I look forward to your final prototype and course walkthrough!
Any and all suggestions are appreciated! Thanks for your time!