High School is Easy

No, Really It Is …

Get full credit on the easy activities — By submitting them ON TIME!
Don’t take a zero in the grade book on assignments/activities for which you should be, easily, earning full credit.  That’s just redunculous! (this is a real word – check here)

What Are These “Easy” Activities?

Listen, most schools have some version of the following three activities (four in some cases) that are used for grades.

  1. Bell work / Bell ringer
  2. Class work
  3. Home work
  4. Uniform (if required)

Explain Further Coach

Well, you should just watch the video for the explanation, but here is the premise.

Bell work / Bell ringers

These are those assignments that most teachers have right at the beginning of class.  They, usually, are short (maybe 5-10 minutes), and are meant to be done while the teacher takes attendance, checks homework, hands out papers, etc.

All students should earn whatever maximum credit is possible for these assignments.
Most of the time, you just have to get it done on time.

Class work

I really shouldn’t have to explain this.  Just participate and do the work.  Again, all students should be earning maximum points here.  This grade is usually based on honest effort, maximum participation, and timely completion.  It really is that simple.

Home work

Ok.  Here is one set of assignments where you, sometimes, might not earn the full amount of credit — IF you get some wrong answers.  However, you have to at least do the work.  You have to show that you made a legitimate attempt to complete whatever work was assigned.  Even if you get stuck, at least do everything up to the point where you get confused.  Show all of your work, and maybe even write down your thoughts in attempting to complete the work.

Uniform (If Required)

Look …
This is THE MOST unacceptable thing to take a zero on.
I’m not even joking.

If you have some kind of PE (physical education) class that has some kind of “uniform requirement” — wear it.  Whatever that requirement is — just wear it.  I mean, don’t be silly.

The fact is that taking a zero on any of these things is an act of Stupidity; not to be confused with ignorance.  They are two completely different things, but that is a topic for another day, and another video.

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Draft Audio Intro

Originally Posted: February 13, 2011


Linked is the first draft of what will become the audio portion to a video introduction to my National University Capstone project for my Master of Science in Educational & Instructional Technology.

Although this first draft only needed to be 30 seconds in length, I extended it to about one minute in order to show the transition from my opening quote, which was adapted from a 1999 movie, to the actual  capstone course introduction.  The audio is found here.

 

Examining Hybrid Courses: Online vs. Onsite Supplements

Originally Posted: January 15, 2011


Perhaps contrary to what some may believe, distance learning has actually been around for over a century.  “‘Distance education’ has been in existence since the state of New York authorized degrees offered through ‘home study’ in 1883” (Tandy & Meacham, 2009, p. 314).  The differences between 1883 and 2011 are the available delivery methods.

Young Woman Lounging in Living Room on Couch with LaptopOne modern adaption is the hybrid/blended course.  By nature, a hybrid course blends aspects of traditional onsite education with aspects of distance learning; in modern times this is, usually, accomplished through technology (El Mansour & Mupinga, 2007).  The study, “Students’ Positive and Negative Experiences in Hybrid and Online Classes”, conducted by El Mansour and Mupinga provides credence to the cliché that you cannot satisfy all of the people all of the time.  They assert that no one teaching and/or delivery method is ideal for everyone.  Some of the feedback recorded by El Mansour and Mupinga was that students liked the immediate feedback and/or live sharing of ideas with their instructors and/or classmates during the face-to-face portion of their hybrid class(es).  They also liked the flexibility of being able to attend to classwork from almost anywhere with access to the internet, and still being able to maintain full time employment.  Some of the negative feedback included disruptions to students’ social and professional lives in order to attend scheduled onsite meetings, and delays in getting feedback from instructor(s) and/or fellow classmates during the online portion(s).

Horton (2006) provides different levels of blending to consider when deciding to what degree of blending a course should be developed.  At a minimum, course designers should consider Horton’s “Level 2: Strategic Blending” when developing a hybrid course.  This level of blending would be driven by the actual subject matter and course goals when deciding how to combine classroom and web-based evolutions.

Blended learning provides the opportunity to capitalize on the pros of both onsite and online learning while, simultaneously, creating the potential pit-falls of the negative things associated with each kind of training environment.  Hybrid courses truly are akin to a double-edged sword.

One other aspect to take into consideration when discussing the pros/cons between onsite, online, and/or hybrid courses, is that of access for those with disabilities.
Tandy and Meacham (2009) provide several examples that support the idea that the sword cuts in both directions.  While onsite courses may be difficult for people with physical disabilities, they provide opportunities for people with other disabilities such as low-vision or blindness.  The opposite side of the sword is that online courses provide convenience for those people with physical disabilities.  However, developing online courses that may be utilized by people that have low-vision or blindness presents some technical and/or financial challenges for the course developers.

Ultimately the quality and success of hybrid course delivery methods will be about the same as regular classes.  There will be the champions of hybrid developed courses, there will be the inevitable antagonists, and there will be those that remain indifferent.  In the same manner that not everyone enjoys the same kinds of music, movies, or sporting events, not everyone will have the same experience(s) when participating in a traditional onsite course, completely online course, or a hybrid course.  Whether or not to recommend hybrid courses would depend on the potential students’ personal preference(s), comfort with technology requirements, and personal goals such as the need for immediate feedback, flexibility to limit social/professional interruptions, etc.

 


 

References

El Mansour, B., & Mupinga, D. M. (2007). Students’ positive and negative experiences in hybrid and online classes. College Student Journal, 41(1), 242-248. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.nu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=24628953&site=ehost-live

Horton, W. (2006). E-Learning by design. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Tandy, C., & Meacham, M. (2009). Removing the barriers for students with disabilities: Accessible online and web-enhanced courses. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 29(3), 313-328. doi:10.1080/08841230903022118