Reading reflection – week 3 #blendkit2015

So this week’s reading is about assessments of learning, how to make good formative and summarise assessments and why assessment is a very important element of learning in general and more specifically for blended learning.

I would like to reflect on the part of the readings that emphasises that “[t]he most crucial step needed in each unit of instruction is the preparation for students’ try’s after of learning to new contexts. If learning is not transferred from the place of learning to practical application, there can be no positive return on investment of that’d time eden to create, implement, and evaluate instruction. Students are smarter than we might think. If the lesson doesn’t apply to something tangible or if it can’t be used in real life, you can expect them to ask “when are we ever going to use this stuff?”First, this is the exact question I asked in high school to my Algebra teacher, and I was right, I actually never really used all that stuff, but anyway.

When I read this particular paragraph it reminded of me of a discussion we were having last week as part of the blended learning workshop my center is giving to professors. It was about the non-content related learning the students get and how it is supposed to be. Some people said the material of the course is try important for them to learn and for us to focus on especially if the course being taught is a prerequisite to a higher level course. I however, disagree on his very heavy based focus on content and the lack of focus on skills for the students to take with them and possess long after their university careers are over. Yes, granted the content is very important but I would give equal importance, maybe even more sometimes and in some cases, to lifelong soft skills such as leadership, public speaking, presentation, team work skills.

I remember reading this article on the Business Insider about how Google hires people, and it said that the VP of Operations Lazlo Bock says that test scores are “not nearly as important as people think.” Link to article here: (sorry can’t hyperlink, my iPad is not allowing me to for some reason) http://www.businessinsider.com/how-google-hires-people-2013-

This is why I am a firm believe that teaching students life long skills that they will be able to use on their real lives along with, rather than only, course content is very important.

Aloso the part on the reading that says : “students see more clearly how the concepts are used in real life situations, and because the lesson was applied practically, the student retains the information and skills much longer.”

This reminds me of a blended learning course taught at my University. It’s a Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL) course. One of the main reasons the professor decided to teach it blended is because she is teaching Arabic teachers how to be good teachers and so she though teaching them in a blended form of instruction will make them learn how to do it themselves in their classes. So instead of sitting in class every week talking to them about online and blended modes of instruction, she decided to make them go through the experience fe themselves to learn it better and to experience it as students to see and feel how their students will when they are taught the same way. I thought that reason was brilliantly pedagogical in nature.

I would also like to add my reaction to the part that says “(we will devote a portion of this chapter to considering issues associated with implementing traditional tests in blended courses).”

to begin with, blended is not traditional and I think a major issue some people face is try to use traditional ways of assessment in non traditional modes of instruction. Why not leave the traditional assessments to the traditional f2f or we enhanced courses and look into make up new or using new and modern forms of assessment in the online and blended settings.

Stay tuned to the week 4 reflection!

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