Motivational Seeking

In my quest to approach learning the facilitation of learning with a beginner’s mind, I’ve been working my way through a series of articles and books about standards, goals, objectives, feedback, and other related topics. Most of my reading list has been generated from Classroom Instruction That Works : Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (2nd Edition) by Ceri B. Dean, Elizabeth Ross Hubbell, and Howard Pitler. Now I am turning my attention toward motivation and what is needed to help students become intrinsically motivated to begin and continue learning. I have just started reading Motivation in Education: Theory, Research, and Applications by Dale Schunk, Judith Meece, and Paul Pintrich. I will also be delving into Kathryn Wentzel and Allan Wigfield’s Handbook of Motivation at School.

Back to School

I’m teaching two sections of an instructional technology course for freshmen education majors. The course runs from now until May. I am hoping that all of the tweeting I am  and will be doing will be useful for my students. I intend to explore each of the nine instructional strategies that are discussed in the book, Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-based Strategies For Increasing Student Achievement.

If my students can learn what the nine instructional strategies are and how to use them this semester, I’ll be a happy teacher.

Feedback Frenzy

I am still carefully crawling through John Hattie and Helen Timperley‘s (2007) article, the Power of Feedback and tweeting the nuggets of wisdom I find. I have found much to share as Hattie and Timperley’s article is extremely well-written and brimming with best practices. My intent is to mindfully absorb this research and apply the authors’ advice in my work with university students.

One of the first steps I’ll be taking is reviewing the goals and objectives for the course. I want to make sure that what I think the students should master is worthy of their time and attention. I thought I did a fair job of selecting and explaining learning goals when I revised my course over the summer. Even so, I think revisiting the course goals again will benefit my learners. I will be focusing on whether our  proposed learning experiences offer specific and challenging goals.


Making Virtual Reality More Realistic

Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab is developing a number of impressive virtual reality environments. From the looks of the lab’s work, some pretty realistic experiences are being created. I wish this kind of technology could be used to develop immersive learning experiences for students outside of the university setting. Imagine elementary, middle, and high school age learners experiencing a virtual visit to ancient Çatalhöyük, Egypt, Greece, and Rome or making a microscopic journey through the circulatory system.

A side note: As host Sumi Das toured the lab in the SmartPlanet video shown below, I noticed that an Xbox 360 Kinect sensor was part of the equipment that Prof. Bailenson and his crew are using. This makes wonder of if, after a number of iterations, this kind of technology can be made more accessible to others by way of off-the-shelf components.

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