EDC 544 - Kaaaaaaahhnnnnnnn! Academy

 

As educators you are expected to create learning environments where students are actively engaged in robust cognititve tasks. Shunting some of the work we do as teachers to a more "Just-in-Time" resource makes sense for a number of reasons. Students move at different rates and it can free some of our time to do more coaching, soft scaffolding (google it if you don't know what that means) and monitoring of student progress (and kudos to Kahn for bringing attention to this idea). I've tried to ground my resource in some concrete examples (trying to reflect some ideas from Bruner's levels of understanding) people can relate to (affective networks and prior knowledge) and represent it in a few different format. I've tried to design it to accommodate people who just want a refresher/quick reference as well as people who want someone to walk them through it. I've tried to keep Mayer and Moreno's advice about reducing extraneous cognitive load in how I layout and cut up the material. The video are broken into chunks and aligned with the static representation of the concepts.

I've also described how the material help support the larger project. This piece is really important because you want you want to think about what students need to do with the information. If you just define something, will that really help them do the work of the larger project.

The larger context for this "shunting" is a recursion unit where students are using spreadsheets to mathematically model and analyze scenarios. They have to be able to algebraically break down the process and use the power of the spreadsheet to figure out how many times does it take for a process of mixing two different colored solutions to reach steady state. There is another version of this that uses the scenario of paying off credit card debt. With the mixing problem one of the issues that inevitably comes up is that people have trouble figuring out how to calculate how much blue and red liquid is in the scoop going back to beaker A in the third step of the process. This is a danger zone for them. Instead of explaing this to each student I coudl direct them to the "shunted" material below. I puposely didn't model the mixing situation in my materials because I want them to have to make the connection to the mixing problem. We can debate wether this is fair/good practice in class. My intention was to help build the recognition capacity of the learner (remember the recognition aspect of UDL is about recognizing patterns).

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You can download the spreadsheet template here. The template is actually a recognitiona nd strategic scaffold that I give to students if they are having a really hard time making progress. This has a range of complexity and challenge that can be introduced by instructor. After they get the process modeled correctly, they can graph the iterations and describe what is happening using the graphical, numeric and algebraic representations. You can push students to make their model more dynamic by making the scoop size a variable that can be set. They can explore how scoop size accelerates the process.
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Here's my "studio" I created to make my videos. Channel your inner McGyver. Open in New Window