February, ETC

Learning from RILS
After I finished my relevant and innovative learning scenario (RILS) this month, I was beginning to feel like I will be able to definitely improve the success of my students and structure of my class with some simple and subtle changes. I have already started having weekly meetings with my instructors and supervisors that have been very encouraging as well. Getting through my literature review took some serious concentration, but with Roxanne DeLeon’s guidance and patience, along with some feedback from my classmate Autumn Langford, the purpose and structure of the literature review became clear. Carefully considering all of the resources I had read through revealed the complex issues underlying the varying degrees of student motivation and interest. Many of those issues are rooted within the students’ diverse backgrounds, experience and learning styles. Some of the issues can also be rooted in consistently narrow minded lesson plans that fail to encourage a more dynamic learning environment. You can’t keep all the people happy and motivated all the time, but you can definitely incorporate some flexibility into curriculum to better accomodate the various moods and levels of attention you may encounter on a daily basis.

I think technology can vastly improve accessibility of information to a highly diverse student population. It will require identifying new and stable technologies that are cheap and easy to use and implement, but sometimes you don’t know if a technology is going to be effective until you try it.

Google forms System Support exit survey screenshot

Collecting Data
First we will more accurately identify the core objective of the System Support course, being sure it is relevant and up to date. I will be using an entrance survey asking the students about their expectations, and an exit survey asking the students how well their expectations were met, how relevant the material was in their mind, and if their expectations and sense of relevance changed during the course. The survey process will provide a vast collection of quantitative data, so it is important that the questions are well designed for clear comparisons. I created a exit survey about a month ago using google forms, but I will need to revise it and also create the entrance survey.

I will also be comparing grades from previous classes to the students’ grades after the changes are implemented. We have had a slightly higher than average failure rate in System Support compared to other classes, and we have been asked to make some improvements so less students fail. That seems like a pretty obvious goal, but we want to make sure we’re not making the course easier. We want to update it, make it more relevant, and make the material more accessible or digestible by using several different approaches, including using the Internet more to connect with the students’ different learning styles and motivations. System Support has served as a reality check for the students, and all the proceeding courses count on us to really demonstrate to the students how much effort is required to be successful. We have been dealing with students’ suffering from information overload and lack of motivation. We need to devise an approach that encourages students who aren’t performing at a sufficient level, to step up, be accountable, and ultimately develop the skills and confidence necessary to succeed professionally. I feel as if I am better armed from my experience at Full Sail with the analytical tools and creative techniques that will be necessary for my research and ultimate success. I am looking forward to putting ideas into action and seeing greater success and engagement from my students.

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