Building Community and Engagement Online in 2020

Virtual Backgrounds

Welcome to Fall 2020. Hopefully we are settling in nicely to the new semester. My name is Allyson Gomez, SJSU alum and adjunct lecturer. What a year! I was a mentor for the Online Summer Certificate Program designed by eCampus, the Center for Faculty Development, and the Office of Diversity. This program helped prepare over 900 faculty members for online teaching. You can check out more offerings on the eCampus Support Page. I had a full circle moment this summer, being able to mentor and work with faculty who taught me 10+ years ago.

During the course, one question kept coming up: how do we get to know our students virtually, how do we keep them engaged virtually, and how do we foster a community or classroom environment virtually? Online learning is not new. The University of Phoenix offered their first online program in 1989, and through the years online degrees have become more widely accepted. Online technology has advanced by leaps and bounds with more efficient internet connectivity and improved video conferencing capabilities.  More recently, people’s opinions have changed about remote learning due to COVID and shelter in place orders. Just as managers resisted employees working from home or remotely – some faculty resisted virtual learning and online courses over concerns that students may not be truly engaged and immersed in learning the subject matter. However, given the current pandemic we must challenge our preconceived notions on virtual learning for education and safety sake.

Regardless of format, I believe that the fundamental concepts of teaching and learning are the same and have not changed. It requires a shift in mindset (perhaps slight, small, or a big change depending on the technology learning curve) in order to succeed. We must teach and foster relationship building with our students through lesson planning, class interactions, activities, assessments, homework, and office hours.

So how do we foster a dynamic, inclusive learning environment for our students in a virtual world?

Here are 8 simple engagement strategies, because 8 is great!

This blog focuses on Zoom’s feature as it is SJSU’s webinar of choice…

#1: Camera On: There’s a big debate about mandating camera preferences because of accessibility, bandwidth, and private learning spaces. I understand the concerns, and ultimately believe that turning on the camera allows for increased media richness when we cannot meet face to face. So much gets lost in translation in the virtual world. A camera can help build connections and assist in reading moods and reactions. It also encourages accountability (my students cited they would be more likely to multi-task and zone out if cameras were off during class). Let’s encourage more formal, respectful, and engaging interactions by keeping the camera on. At the very least, I ask for cameras on during ice-breakers and in breakout rooms. Note: I make a disclaimer that it is okay if there are kids or roommates coming in and out of the background; it’s part of 2020. If a student is unable to have his/her camera on, let the class know via chat. No explanation needed.

#2: IceBreakers: I am a huge fan. These are low-stake opportunities for students to learn how to speak in front of a camera and bond with others. What is your major/year? What city do you live in? Favorite sports team? Binge worthy show? As a business lecturer, I may base questions on our readings or future activities: one word value, name a company that does branding well (no repeats), who is a thought leader, etc. Think of fun check-in ideas.

#3 Breakout Rooms: Another thing we miss out on in the virtual space is having impromptu conversations. Practice organizing folks into groups before class, during breaks, during activities, or at the last 5 minutes of class. This can be great during long classes and gives students a chance to bond with one another. Zoom is now rolling out a feature (5.3.0) where students can self-select into rooms—making it more convenient for everyone involved. [Pro tip: Most students may groan at group work, but they cheer for breakout group activities during class].

 

Engagement is key. Changing it up is key. What better way than to use Zoom tools? Which brings me to #4 Polling and #5 Chat. I use these tools throughout my lectures and concept explanations. In the physical classroom, I would normally have students walk over to the right or left side of the room as I ask binary True/False questions or choose option A or B stance on ethical dilemmas. I cannot quite tally 50 folks walking around their respective rooms, so I have introduced quick polling by creating a blank question with a “yes” or “no” answer choice. This allows me to receive rapid feedback from the class. I will ask the class: Are we ready for a break? And launch the blank poll question: Yes/No. Did the manager act in the most ethical way? Yes/No. I read back the feedback, 75% said no, tell me more. This works for True/False and 5-point rating scale questions too. When a poll cannot quite capture the essence, or I want more qualitative or subjective answers, I use the chat feature– 75% said no and 25% yes. Tell me more in the chat. While we wait for folks to type, can two people unmute your microphone and answer why you selected “Yes” or “No?” I spend time reading the comments out loud and ask for additional insights. [Pro tip: If a student can do the dishes or workout during a live class – maybe the lesson can be a recording].

As people share their insights or present topics in class, the #6 Reactions feature helps students express emotions or applaud classmates. These 5 second pop up emojis build classroom interactions without being too distracting. I encourage students to use the reactions tool.

Another way to solicit reactions and engagement is through screen sharing and allowing #7 Annotations. While sharing your screen or PPT, students can add their own drawings or notes. You can also put up a white board and have students draw for a while whether they are literally connecting the dots between two concepts, playing Jeopardy, or doodling. Using breakout activities and different modes of interaction can increase engagement. Note the tools may look different based on your device and OS (Windows, Mac, or Linux).…which leads me to…

#8 Breaks. Ironically taking time away from the class can really boost the brain and further student engagement. Think of it as a mini recharge or caffeine hit. Though a nice cup of coffee or energy drink works too. [Pro tip: Take 30 seconds and look away from your screen right now! Your eyes will thank you].

After speaking with colleagues, the biggest concern this semester (aside from learning new technologies) was getting to know your students, keeping them engaged and fostering a community, virtually. Hopefully, I’ve shared some useful ideas to help you better engage with your students.

In future posts, I’ll dive deeper into engagement and fostering an online community through assignments, before/after class, office hours, feedback, and more. 2020 has thrown a lot of new challenges at us. And through all of this, I am proud to be part of the SJSU community. We have been resilient and come together. If you have any questions or want to brainstorm student and classroom engagement ideas, send me an email at allyson.gomez@sjsu.edu. Thank you. Stay safe (and sane).

Lesson Design Using the ‘BOPPPS’ Model – Part 4: Active Learning Strategies & Summary

Hello SJSU Community!

It’s Dr. Rayna Friendly again. In a previous post, I continued my discussions about a model of lesson design that I learned during my graduate degree, which is taught in the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW). The ISW has been run in more than 100 academic institutions worldwide (Day, 2004)! To date, the ISW has been found to be an effective way to transform instructor’s teaching in the classroom such that ISW participants were found to reduce their teacher-focused thinking in comparison to controls, as well as increase the number of active learning strategies used in their classrooms (e.g., Dawson et al., 2014; Macpherson, 2011). ‘BOPPPS’ is actually an acronym, which stands for the 6 basic components that are important to consider including when you are designing a lesson or workshop:

  • Bridge into the lesson
  • Outcomes for the lesson (as in Intended Learning Outcomes)
  • Pre-assessment of learners’ existing knowledge of those outcomes
  • Participatory Activities (as in Active Learning Strategies)
  • Post-assessment of learners’ knowledge of the outcomes
  • Summary of the lesson content

In my previous blog posts this term, I discussed majority of these components: the Bridge-in, writing Intended Learning Outcomes, and Pre/Post-Assessments of learner’s knowledge. Today, I would like to delve deeper into the remaining two components: Active (Participatory) Learning Strategies and the Summary. 

Active (Participatory) Learning Strategies. These are classroom activities and content that enable learners to be active in their own learning, rather than passively just listening to a professor lecture. I don’t know about you, but I certainly found that most of what I learned as a student was more enjoyable and “stuck” longer if there was an activity, reflection, or real-world application clearly tied to it. If not, it was much easier to “zone-out” or “nod-off” during a lesson. Studies within the last decade or so have found evidence that active learning strategies support critical thinking more than traditional lectures and can positively impact comprehension, retention, and problem-solving skills (see Cummings, Mason, Shelton, & Baur, 2017, for review). Here is a good list of different types of active learning strategies from UC Berkley, however, you can simply search Google for many other examples of active learning strategies that might work well for you. Some of the ones I use regularly include Think-Pair-Share, Brainstorming, iClickers, and self-reflection.

Aligning your participatory learning to your Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)! Recall from my previous post on ILOs, that it is important to ensure your assessments align with the ILOs for each class or program. Additionally, it is best to choose active learning strategies that also align with your ILOs! Recall the example ILOS below:

By the end of this class, students will be able to:

•Differentiate two types of metacognition
•Describe developmental trends in explicit and implicit metacognition
Reflect on how you use metacognition for schoolwork
Practice Active Listening, Meditation & “Mindfulness” to enhance your metacognitive abilities
For the first ILO listed, I could design a matching game where students need to match definitions of the two types of metacognition with their respective definitions. For the second, I may ask them to create a timeline with different age groups listed, and ask them to fill in abilities at the age they typically occur on the timeline. The 3rd could be a think-pair-share activity where students reflect to themselves first, then share this with their peers and the 4th could be 5 min of guided meditation in the classroom.

[Don’t forget the ] Summary! The final component of the BOPPPS model is the summary. In my opinion, this is easy to forget to include – especially as an instructor who finds themselves running out of time to cover all the content at the end of a lesson. However, it is also sometimes the most important information to include for students, who often tell me how useful they find it when I summarize the main “take-home” points of the lesson (which includes opportunities to review topics multiple times and indicates which information would be fair to be included on any tests or assignments). If you do run out of time in one class, consider using the beginning of the following class to summarize that material. Not only will it be helpful to the students, but it can also serve as a BRIDGE for the upcoming course content!

 

Well, that’s it for my eCampus blog posts this F19 term. Next term, I will still be facilitating the TCoP,  and encourage you to join the community!

  • The Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP) is a group for part- and full-time SJSU faculty (of all levels, across all departments), who are interested in enhancing their respective teaching practices. The TCoP will meet regularly, according to members’ schedules, to exchange strategies, tips and resources that have led to successful (and sometimes, less-than-successful) teaching experiences. Please fill out this form if you are interested in joining this community and you will be added to the groups’ mailing list. For inquires about the TCoP, please contact me at rayna.friendly@sjsu.edu.

 

 

REFERENCES:

Cummings, C., Mason, D., Shelton, K., & Baur, K. (2017). Active learning strategies for online and blended learning environments. In Flipped Instruction: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (pp. 88-114). IGI Global.

Day, R., & the ISW International Advisory Committee. (2004). Instructional Skills Workshop: From grassroots initiative to international perspectives. Paper presented at the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Retrieved from http://iswnetwork.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Hand5_ICED.pdf

Dawson, D., Borin, P., Meadows, K., Britnell, J., Olsen, K. & McIntryre, G. (2014). The Impact of the Instructional Skills Workshop on Faculty Approaches to Teaching. Toronto ON: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Macpherson, A. (2011). The Instructional Skills Workshop as a transformative learning process. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Incorporating Reading Apprenticeship (RA) Into Your Courses – Nov. 2019 Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP) Recap!

Hello Everyone!

My name is Dr. Rayna Friendly, and I am back again with a recap from SJSU’s November 2019 Teaching Community of Practice* (TCoP) Meeting.

This month’s guest facilitator was Alla Petrosyan (Technical Writing & English Instructor in SJSU’s Engineering Department), who recently completed RA (Reading Apprenticeship) training at Mission College and would love to share with the SJSU community how you could apply RA when teaching within your own discipline!

Below, I recap some of the valuable information Alla shared with us. Alla is also open to being contacted with any questions related to this topic, and her email is: alla.petrosyan@sjsu.edu

What is Reading Apprenticeship (RA)?

  • Reading Apprenticeship is an approach to reading instruction that helps students develop the knowledge, strategies, and dispositions they need to become more powerful readers. It is at heart a partnership of expertise, drawing on what teachers know and do as discipline-based readers, and on adolescents’ and young adults’ unique and often underestimated strengths as learners.” (Reading Apprenticeship Strategic Literacy Initiative, WestEd, 2005, pg. 9). The point, I understand from this is viewing our students as “Reading Apprentices”, who learn from their teachers how to enhance their reading practice.

 

  • Reading Apprenticeship helps students become better readers by:
    • Engaging students in more reading—for recreation as well as for subject area learning and self-challenge;
    • Making the teacher’s discipline-based reading processes and knowledge visible to students;
    • Making students’ reading processes, motivations, strategies, knowledge, and understandings visible to the teacher and to one another;
    • Helping students gain insight into their own reading processes; and
    • Helping them develop a repertoire of problem-solving strategies for overcoming obstacles and deepening comprehension of texts from various academic disciplines” (Reading Apprenticeship Strategic Literacy Initiative, WestEd, 2005, pg. 9) (For more information, see: https://readingapprenticeship.org/our-approach/ )

 

Why is RA important?

  • Alla explained that workshops on RA were set up by her colleagues at Mission College in order to address a gap in reading abilities that have been noticed for many of today’s college and university students. She highlighted that reading is such an important skill to help students’ learning process, yet higher education has reduced the amount of mandatory classes students need to take on reading skills. This, coupled with access to so much information online available to students at a moments’ notice, often leads to students not getting the same practice on reading strategies that may have existed in the past.

 

  • Alla also spoke to the expectations/assumptions teachers often have of their students, pointing out that we often expect students have certain basic writing and reading skills once they reach college, yet, they may in fact not have these skills (or at least, not many formal opportunities to practice these skills).

 

  • Thus, RA is a great framework for teachers to utilize in their courses, to help increase opportunities for students to work on and enhance their reading (and related) abilities!

 

What are some of the RA strategies teachers could try using in their courses?

  • Teachers can practice reading challenging/unfamiliar texts in front of their students, explaining the strategies they use!
    • This helps students see that even the teacher struggles sometimes when reading new material and encourages the teacher be “vulnerable” in front of their students. This helps students fell more confident to try reading practices, especially in front of peers or the teacher, without so much worry that others are judging them. 
    • Additionally, this lets teachers demonstrate the strategies they use when faced with difficult terms/texts!
    • For example, I often do this in my Research Methods class: I show the students how I go about reading Scholarly academic articles, which parts I skim over, and which parts I pay closer attention to. I also point out to them when something confuses me (such as a new term), and how I go about reducing this confusion (e.g., look up the term, re-read the sentence more slowly and out loud, etc.).
    • Karin, a lecturer at this meeting, also pointed out how something like this could help reduce the self-consciousness or anxiety she sees in many of her students.

 

  • Read, then summarize!
    • Because Alla teaches writing, she often has students do readings with the clear expectations that they will have to summarize the reading afterward. Sometimes these summaries are shared with peers, other times, she may have students read, then think out load trying to make sense out of what they just read.

 

  • Other strategies include, but are not limited to: Reading titles; Skimming; Looking for bolded/underlined words; Looking at the Pictures; Making reading part of the “class commitment” statement; Peer-to-peer reading activities.

 

How can I learn more about RA?

 

*What is the TCoP, you ask?

  • The Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP) is a group for part- and full-time SJSU faculty (of all levels, across all departments), who are interested in enhancing their respective teaching practices. The TCoP will meet regularly, according to members’ schedules, to exchange strategies, tips and resources that have led to successful (and sometimes, less-than-successful) teaching experiences. Please fill out this form if you are interested in joining this community and you will be added to the groups’ mailing list. For inquires about the TCoP, please contact me at rayna.friendly@sjsu.edu.

Lesson Design Using the ‘BOPPPS’ Model – Part 3: Pre-Post Assessments & iClickers

Hello SJSU Community!

It’s Dr. Rayna Friendly again. In a previous post, I continued my discussions about a model of lesson design that I learned during my graduate degree, which is taught in the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW). The ISW has been run in more than 100 academic institutions worldwide (Day, 2004)! To date, the ISW has been found to be an effective way to transform instructor’s teaching in the classroom such that ISW participants were found to reduce their teacher-focused thinking in comparison to controls, as well as increase the number of active learning strategies used in their classrooms (e.g., Dawson et al., 2014; Macpherson, 2011). ‘BOPPPS’ is actually an acronym, which stands for the 6 basic components that are important to consider including when you are designing a lesson or workshop:

  • Bridge into the lesson
  • Outcomes for the lesson (as in Intended Learning Outcomes)
  • Pre-assessment of learners’ existing knowledge of those outcomes
  • Participatory Activities (as in Active Learning Strategies)
  • Post-assessment of learners’ knowledge of the outcomes
  • Summary of the lesson content

In my previous blog posts, I discussed the first and second components: the Bridge-in, and writing Intended Learning Outcomes.

Today, I would like to delve deeper into the pre- and post-assessment components of the model: the Pre-Assessment and Post-Assessment of learner’s knowledge. The action of including both a pre- and post-assessment in your lesson or program aligns with the practice of evidence-based teaching (e.g., Brickman, Gormally & Marchand Martella, 2017; Gormally et al., 2014; Henderson & Dancy, 2009; Henderson et al., 2014). I hate to break it to you, but teachers are people…and all people make assumptions. As a teacher, I often find myself making assumptions like “my students must find this lesson so boring, they are all on their phones or falling asleep” or “they stayed awake, meaning they must have found this information meaningful/interesting“. The problem with assumptions is that they often are inaccurate, due to being based on our own personal biases. We cannot know for certain what our students are thinking, or what they have learned, unless we collect EVIDENCE of this learning. Basing our teaching practice on evidence, rather than assumptions, can help ensure that we are using a student-focused, rather than teacher-focused, method of teaching. Let’s go into each assessment type in more detail:

PRE-assessments of learner’s knowledge enable us to find out how much the learner knows BEFORE we teach the course content. This can give the instructor a baseline measure knowledge, which they can use to adjust the upcoming content to the level of the learners. For instance, if all students in the class already know the steps of the Scientific Method, it may not make sense to go through these step with them in detail, and you may want to spend time going through real-life examples instead. The format of pre-assessments can be formal (i.e., pop quizzes, tests, essays, etc. which are worth points), but I generally prefer to use more informal methods which are not worth points, or are only worth participation points (e.g., asking questions about the content to students, brainstorming, iClicker Questions, quick 1-minute papers, entry tickets and so on). iClickers are quickly becoming one of my favorite assessment methods, and I discuss them more below.

POST-assessments of learner’s knowledge are the basis of school as we traditionally know it. Formal test, quizzes, essays, lab write-ups, and such are all forms of assessing student’s knowledge AFTER the course content has been taught. Although these are important assessment methods, they often take place mid-way or at the end of the course. So how do we assess what students have learned at the end of each class or module? There are many end-of-class assessment methods. Like above, these can include both formal and informal methods and many of the suggested above methods can be used again at the end of class. The goal is to determine if the students have gained any NEW knowlege after they have taken the pre-assessment and spent time learning course content. As in scientific research methods, if you use the pre-assessment as a baseline, then any additional learning that occurred can confidently be attributed to students having taken your class!

Don’t forget to align your post-assessment with your Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)! Recall from my previous post on ILOs, that it is important to ensure your assessments align with the ILOs for each class or program. In fact, writing your ILOs first can ensure you then choose assessment methods that correctly assess those outcomes. Consider the following ILO example:

By the end of this class, students will be able to:

•Differentiate two types of metacognition
•Describe developmental trends in explicit and implicit metacognition
Reflect on how you use metacognition for schoolwork
Practice Active Listening, Meditation & “Mindfulness” to enhance your metacognitive abilities
Here, the ILOs help me to determine the type of assessment to include. For instance, “differentiate” suggests that students just need to tell-apart the 2 types of metacognition, so I might test them using multiple-choice matching-terms-to-definitions questions on a test. “describe” suggests they need to use their own word, so I might test their knowledge of developmental trends using short- or long-answer questions on a test or through an essay. “reflect” could also be assessed on an essay, but also through in-class discussions. “practice” would be evaluated by creating an activity to allow students to try meditation and mindfulness out for themselves!

Consider using iClickers for some of your assessments! I love using iClickers in the classroom! These are offered for free to SJSU students and teachers, they are relatively easy to learn and use, and many of my students who self-identify as introverts have told me how much they appreciate getting to participate in class without having to talk in front of other people. iClickers essentially allow teachers to pose multiple-choice (and some other styles of) questions to students. Then students use an iClicker (downloaded on their device, or loaned from eCampus) to answer the questions anonymously. I use these in class just for participation, but you can also set them up for course credit and link to Canvas’ Grades functionality. In the simplest example of pre-and post-assessments, you could ask students the same questions at the beginning and end of the class, to see if there has been any change in student learning throughout the class. 

Look out for my final blog post this term to learn about the last two components of the BOPPPS Model: Active (Participatory) Learning Strategies and the Summary!

 

(Note that these BOPPPS posts might be interspersed with content updates from the Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP), which I facilitate.) What is the TCoP, you ask?

  • The Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP) is a group for part- and full-time SJSU faculty (of all levels, across all departments), who are interested in enhancing their respective teaching practices. The TCoP will meet regularly, according to members’ schedules, to exchange strategies, tips and resources that have led to successful (and sometimes, less-than-successful) teaching experiences. Please fill out this form if you are interested in joining this community and you will be added to the groups’ mailing list. For inquires about the TCoP, please contact me at rayna.friendly@sjsu.edu.

 

 

REFERENCES:

Brickman, P., Gormally, C., & Martella, A. M. (2016). Making the Grade: Using instructional feedback and evaluation to inspire evidence-based teaching. CBE—Life Sciences Education15(4), ar75.

Day, R., & the ISW International Advisory Committee. (2004). Instructional Skills Workshop: From grassroots initiative to international perspectives. Paper presented at the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Retrieved from http://iswnetwork.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Hand5_ICED.pdf

Dawson, D., Borin, P., Meadows, K., Britnell, J., Olsen, K. & McIntryre, G. (2014). The Impact of the Instructional Skills Workshop on Faculty Approaches to Teaching. Toronto ON: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Gormally, C., Evans, M., & Brickman, P. (2014). Feedback about teaching in higher ed: neglected opportunities to promote changeCBE Life Sci Educ 13, 187-199.

Henderson, C. & Dancy, M.H. (2009). Impact of physics education research on the teaching of introductory quantitative physics in the United StatesPhys Rev Spec Top Phys Educ Res 5, 020107

Henderson, C., Turpen, C., Dancy, M., & Chapman, T. (2014). Assessment of teaching effectiveness: lack of alignment between instructors, institutions, and research recommendationsPhys Rev Spec Top Phys Educ Res 10, 010106.

Macpherson, A. (2011). The Instructional Skills Workshop as a transformative learning process. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Lesson Design Using the ‘BOPPPS’ Model – Part 2: Intended Learning Outcomes

Hello SJSU Community!

It’s Dr. Rayna Friendly again. In a previous post, I introduced a model of lesson design that I learned during my graduate degree, that is taught in the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW), which has been run in more than 100 academic institutions worldwide (Day, 2004)! To date, the ISW has been found to be an effective way to transform instructor’s teaching in the classroom such that ISW participants were found to reduce their teacher-focused thinking in comparison to controls, as well as increase the number of active learning strategies used in their classrooms (e.g., Dawson et al., 2014; Macpherson, 2011). ‘BOPPPS’ is actually an acronym, which stands for the 6 basic components that are important to consider including when you are designing a lesson or workshop:

  • Bridge into the lesson
  • Outcomes for the lesson (as in Intended Learning Outcomes)
  • Pre-assessment of learners’ existing knowledge of those outcomes
  • Participatory Activities (as in Active Learning Strategies)
  • Post-assessment of learners’ knowledge of the outcomes
  • Summary of the lesson content

In a previous blog post, I discussed the first component: the Bridge. Today, I would like to delve deeper into the second component: Intended Learning OUTCOMES for the lesson.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) outline what you hope the learning to learn at the end of your lesson, module, or program. There are many online resources for you to check out that explain how to write and utilize ILOs in your teaching. Here is a good one from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, but feel free to Google for other versions that work best for you. The ILOs are important to include so that learners know what you expect from them, and these also should should determine the types of activities and assessments you include in your lessons (more on this in my upcoming blog posts on pre/post assessments and participatory activities!). Let me show you an example of some ILOs for one of the lessons I teach, before explaining the components:

By the end of this class, students will be able to:

•Differentiate two types of metacognition
•Describe developmental trends in explicit and implicit metacognition
Reflect on how you use metacognition for schoolwork
Practice Active Listening, Meditation & “Mindfulness” to enhance your metacognitive abilities

In the example above, you should be able to note 3 important components of writing ILOS:

    1. First, specify the timeframe. When will the student be able to achieve the outcomes? By the end of the lesson, by the end of the module, by the end of the course, etc? I state the ILOs for each of my lectures, at the beginning of class, before we start discussing any course content. I also use these ILOs for my student’s study guides, making a checklist stating what they should be able to know/do by the end of each lecture!
    2. The knowledge/skills learners should be able to gain. In the above example, you can see how the learner is explicitly told what knowledge/skills are important to the instructor. Essentially, it should describe the types of learning that will be assessed later in formal and informal ways. In the example, for instance, this includes “two types of metacognition”, “developmental trends in explicit and implicit metacognition”, and so on.
    3. What the learners should be able to do with that knowledge (i.e., action verbs!). Here is, in my opinion, the most important and useful component of ILOs: the verbs. What should the learners be able to do with the knowledge they’re learning? In the above example, you can see these verbs, such as “differentiate”, “describe”, “reflect”, and “practice”. These verbs relate back to Boom’s Taxonomy (1956), revised in (2001) of types of actions we can do with knowledge. They range from the least effort needed (e.g., simply remembering information) and advance with subsequent complexity up to being able to evaluate or create something new. There are MANY versions of this taxonomy online, I recommend doing a Google Image search for a diagram of the taxonomy that works best for you!  These verbs should then align with the teaching and testing methods you used (e.g., if you say that learners should be able to create something, how can you evaluate this creation?)

Look out for my following blog posts to learn more about the rest of the components of the BOPPPS Model. Next I will go into the pre/post assessments and how to align them with your ILOs!

 

(Note that these BOPPPS posts might be interspersed with content updates from the Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP), which I facilitate.) What is the TCoP, you ask?

  • The Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP) is a group for part- and full-time SJSU faculty (of all levels, across all departments), who are interested in enhancing their respective teaching practices. The TCoP will meet regularly, according to members’ schedules, to exchange strategies, tips and resources that have led to successful (and sometimes, less-than-successful) teaching experiences. Please fill out this form if you are interested in joining this community and you will be added to the groups’ mailing list. For inquires about the TCoP, please contact me at rayna.friendly@sjsu.edu.

 

 

REFERENCES:

Day, R., & the ISW International Advisory Committee. (2004). Instructional Skills Workshop: From grassroots initiative to international perspectives. Paper presented at the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Retrieved from http://iswnetwork.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Hand5_ICED.pdf

Dawson, D., Borin, P., Meadows, K., Britnell, J., Olsen, K. & McIntryre, G. (2014). The Impact of the Instructional Skills Workshop on Faculty Approaches to Teaching. Toronto ON: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Macpherson, A. (2011). The Instructional Skills Workshop as a transformative learning process. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.