PBeL for 3-5 on Schoology!

Welcome to a series of updates of my process and progress on designing instruction in online learning using Schoology, a Learning Management System (LMS) for K-12, higher education, and corporate contexts. I will be designing an online course for 3-5 blended learning classrooms that want to implement a project based elearning approach to enhance and enrich their learning experiences with technology. 

2017-01-22

January 22, 2017 (update #1)

This is a first view of what my Project Based eLearning course for 3-5 blended learning classrooms looks like:

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As you can see below, I have added a short introductory statement on a separate page within the course:

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“Welcome to Project Based eLearning for 3-5!
This course is designed for 3-5 teachers that want to begin implementing a project based elearning approach in a blended learning environment while still integrating their own curriculum.”

I have also included Understanding by Design’s (UbD) Backward Design one-page design template (see the original blog post here) that outlines the desired results, assessment evidence, and learning plan for the first six weeks of the year-long project:

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The last major change to my course was the addition of the Learning Outcomes 3-Column Table (see the original blog post here) that outlines the learning goals, learning activities, and assessment activities for the year:

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January 29, 2017 (update #2)

I have spent this past week creating, editing, deleting, and recreating a lot of the preliminary content I had added on Schoology the week before. As you cannot tell (I edited the title and update #1) I changed my focus group to 3-5 instead of K-5. I did this because I really wanted to dig deep into the trenches of what PBeL would look like in 3-5 classrooms. I could not have done that if I had kept K-2. Time would have only permitted me to scratch the surface of each K-5 grade level.

Within each week (of a total of 6 weeks) I added videos, assignments, and discussions. For this update, I really want to focus on the assignments. I have a strong belief that multiple-choice testing is not the right way to figure out what is going on inside a student’s mind. So, I have developed assignments that allow the student to think for himself in terms of reflections and discussions. You will find some of the assignments for weeks 1, 2, and 3 below:

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Unfortunately, I can’t show you any of my discussion questions just yet (mostly because they are still a work in progress). I will tell you this, I will be using a lot of Buck Institute for Education’s (BIE) FREE resources such as these found here:

One more thing: In the process of researching for materials for my course, such as videos, I discovered that there is a lack of resources and materials for projects for K-5 classrooms. I found this very disappointing. So, I decided to do additional research on the topic and found a helpful article:

Doing Internet Research at the Elementary Level

February 5, 2017 (update #3)

Hello there! And welcome back! The following image is a view of what my course looks like in a pre-finished stage to a member with access:

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As you can see up there (and down here), I created and uploaded a logo for my course! (I’m very proud of it).

2017-02-05

This past week, I have worked on finishing up 50% of my course which is the first three weeks of a total of six weeks. As a weekly introduction, I included a course goal, a learning goal, and a weekly objective:

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This is a peek at Week 1:

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This week I want to focus on the minor details. It came to my attention from my current professor, colleagues, and the Internet, that a course should be designed in a welcoming manner. And I thought, “Oh!” So I personalized it a bit by creating my logo. I also added “A Note to the Teacher” on various occasions to sprinkle ideas he or she may want to add or expand on throughout the implementation of the PBeL for 3-5 course. Because I’ve created a “guide,” I do not have specific content for the teacher to teach. The course itself is very vague but this was done with purpose. This course was designed to be implemented within a blended learning environment while implementing a desired curriculum (not my own). So there may be lots of questions throughout, and I’m trying my best to answer them as I create and edit and re-edit my course. Feel free to add any of your thoughts, questions, or suggestions down below under “Leave a Reply.” 🙂

February 12, 2017 (update #4)

Hello there! I am soo delighted to see you here again! This means the fourth week of my process and progress on designing instruction in online learning using Schoology has been finalized! Yay me! It has been a long journey getting here. I have never done so much editing, re-editing, revising, and re-revising in my entire life. I believe this is because this project has been my baby since day one of my masters program at Lamar University. Creating this course has been my dream ever since I wanted to become a teacher back in 1997 when I was only five years old.

And the truth is… I still want to keep on going! I have so many ideas that come and go and some I integrate and others I don’t. I could go on forever. As I’m writing, I’m thinking about new ideas I could add to my course. If I could just… Well, I won’t. The problem with designing courses is that you won’t know if its complete until you implement it. But even then, you’ll want to tweak it as time goes by, as new students come and go, and as new technologies are released. It is never ending. And I realize now, that’s how you know you have a love for designing instruction. I am in love… Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

As for updates on the actual process and progress on designing my PBeL course on Schoology, the following lists the major changes:

  • I figured out how to embed YouTube videos using the app within Schoology instead of integrating a link to open up on a separate tab.

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  • I rearranged and added a few more videos on teamwork, questions, research, and outlines.

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  • I added a lot of “A Note to the Teacher” pages to explain additional mini-lessons on things such as using safe search engines for research.

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  • I finalized my “References” page using APA format.

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Until next time…

Look for more updates in the future!

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