637: Week 1

Essential question: How do you make decisions about your own actions for students in a differentiated classroom? What is your criteria for intervention, and/or for letting learning happen?

I tend to be more over bearing with my kids, I am sure this characteristic will trickle over into the classroom. I would like to give highlights in my lesson plan that I hope will inspire direction in students’ independent learning. I would like to give the starting point (point A) and where they should end up (point B). However, as we have learned in previous classes this journey is not a straight line or the same for all students which is where the differential teaching comes into play.  


The Learner Relationship (McCarthy) supports my statement:



We as teachers will prepare the lesson plan such as a Science lesson on Electricity. We will ensure that the content is accessible to all students. This is the Readiness step in the student engagement. Next the students are able to process the information, or can make sense of the information. The student is able to relate to the information because it is interesting to them. They can tie the information in real life situations (Step 2 of the student engagement cycle). The final step in both process is that the evidences that the information was digested by the student. We see this in the learning artifacts, such as the student can explain the lesson back to the teacher, peer, or through some type of classwork.


The differentiated area is when students do not learn the same. They come from different backgrounds and they do not digest the lesson plan the same. Maybe the student is a weak reader or English is not their first language. Therefore, the teacher might pair the student up with a peer student or give additional information to the student to ensure they understand the lesson. I like using analogies and real life scenarios to inspire critical thinking when introducing new concepts.


On my concept map above you can see the teacher giving the Lesson, such as Electricity. Most students are able to digest the information with no issues. However, some do need more explanation of the topic. The teacher is able to pick up on the confusion and helps the student. The student is then able to connect the dots on the concept. The final mapping is that all the students are on the page.



Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms. Alexandria: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD).

McCarthy, John. (2014, July 23). 3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do. Retrieved on Jan 22, 2017 from:  https://www.edutopia.org/blog/differentiated-instruction-ways-to-plan-john-mccarthy

BBCActive.com. (N.d.).  Methods of Differentiation in the Classroom. Retrieved on Jan 22, 2017 from:  http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/MethodsofDifferentiationintheClassroom.aspx








674 W10 Reflection

This week we talked about the changes that elearning has brought on the educational industry. While online learning has brought conveniences to the student, it has brought many challenges to the universities at a fast rate. They are challenged with using the latest technology and ensuring that their instructors are incorporating the new programs. Teachers have limited time schedules and are not 12 month employees, most of the time. This puts a great strain on the teachers along with sols and other state mandated standardized testing requirements. I think most teachers are handling the changes well. I do worry that we will continue to ask more of their time.


I learned from my peers:

  • Sara talked about change. I brought up how we can be resistant to it.
  • Mariah brought up great points about how elearning can be virtual which can save the universities money.
  • Teresa talked about the challenges with keeping up with technology. She also talked about the 4 key elements to design a successful lesson plan.

674 Week 10

Essential Question: How can we manage the change that is inherent in our distance learning efforts?

This week we talked about how online learning is constantly changing and how to successfully cope. Because distance education relies on the technology, it will never be a one-answer solution to all our needs. Hardware, software, other teaching aids (tools) and even browsers are always updating and becoming obsolete. The challenge is how do we deal with all of it?

Because I have been in the IT field, I can see that I have seen some many great tools and even more that we not so good. I try to hone in on what my inner circle needs and what is relevant to what I am trying to do. I try to become familiar with them and see what other comparable technologies exist. I would think the same goes for the educational industry. There are so many useful programs that we are just waiting to be discovered.

Because these technologies are surfacing so fast, instructors do not always have time to be trained properly on how to use them. I do think that this factor that can affect the quality of the lesson plans. Instructors need to be allowed access to training and time so that they can develop quality lessons.


Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2011). Distance education: A systems view of online learning.

Lewis, Somer and Dikkers, Amy Garrett. (2016). Professional Development Supports for the Blended, Co-Taught Classroom. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from http://www.learntechlib.org/p/171356

Raffert, Jennifer. (2016, September 21). Insights from the Field: Blended Is the Best of Both Worlds. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/insights-field-blended-best-worlds/

674 Wek 9 ~ Reflections

We talked about how global distance education has greatly benefits so many foreign students. We talked about the funding (and lack of) needed to create the online distance education option and some of the benefits. We all talked in our class session where we think the trends will go and what future options might look like. We all believe the online education is just starting to boom. We think that the education industry will continue to grow because the general public is now starting to see the benefits of online education.


What I learned from my peers this week:

  • Amy talked about the benefits of how the different cultures of students are able to attend one class.
  • Dan talked about how distance classes make efficient use of today’s technology; exposing students to the latest trends.
  • Theresa talked about how other countries are investing in their citizens by allowing generous funding for higher education which in turn produces higher quality of population.

674 Week 9 OLTAK

Essential Question: What lessons can we take from Global Distance Learning Efforts?

Global distance learning has many benefits. As listed below, there really is no excuse not to start/finish a degree. You can be a traveling consultant and still be able to fit taking a few classes into your schedule. Although we have learned in our textbook that Distance Learning has existed for some time, the ease of finishing a degree is easier today with limitless options.

The benefits of online education for students (Vioreanu, 2016):

Compared to traditional on-campus learning, distance education has several advantages for students:

  • Accessibility: students are less bound by time and location
  • flexibility: students are not constrained by a fixed schedule and can continue to keep their Personal circumstances and/or work obligations
  • Affordability: distance education is often less expensive than traditional education, thus opening up learning opportunities to those people who otherwise, cannot cover the cost of a degree course.

Distance online classes often have features where students upload and complete their assignment which is a more streamlined process. Teachers are able to score and grade the work more efficiently. The effectiveness of this process allows the teacher to have a larger number of students. I have taking many courses with programs that automatically score assignments. The grades display for both the students and the teacher. Therefore, global online learning provides accessibility to more students.

“As institutions in K12 and Higher Education continue to use video and voice technologies that offer the flexible and diverse offerings that today’s students demand, global acceptance of distance learning continues to grow” (Shuck, 2016).

Additionally is the K12 option, foreign students are able to take transitional classes to adjust to a new culture and language all through online classes. Online videos can make the adjustment for the student easier. Students can see the body language (more than words can express sometimes) from the example students on what is expected behavior in the classroom. My brother moved from the Philippines to San Francisco in 1973 with my parents. He had a difficult time with how different everything was in California. I think that online videos would have been a great benefit for him.



Moore, M. G. (2012). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning

Vioreanu, Dana. (2016, Feb 11). Distance Learning Course Options get more popular every year. Retrieved on Nov 3, 2016 from http://www.distancelearningportal.com/articles/393/distance-learning-course-options-get-more-popular-every-year.html

Shuck, Elaine. (2016, Sept 6). Distance Learning Reaches Students Anywhere. Retrieved on Nov 3, 2016 from http://publicsectorview.com/education-1/distance-learning-reaches-students-anywhere/

Staff Writers (Unknown listed). (2013, Mar 25). EdTech in the Third World: Distance Learning. Retrieved on Nov 3, 2016 from http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2013/03/edtech-third-world-distance-learning/


Week 8 Reflection

This week we talked about what would we require of our online teachers. There are differences in distance education courses and traditional in class classroom teaching. One huge difference is being familiar with technology so that they can not only navigate through the programs, but also provide support when that need surfaces. Distance education courses can be intimating. Teaching needs to be able to create a connection with their students. We talked about how the course needs to be designed to engage the students as well.

This week from my peers I learned:

  • Sara talked about how historically teachers were thrown into teaching online courses with little or no training.
  • Theresa talked about walking her instructors through a course so that they understand their style and what is being asked of them.
  • Genevieve used the example of working with a substitute teacher and her expectations are.

674 Week 8

EQ: What would you require of instructors who taught a course you designed? Why?

Online teachers do have a more complex job than a traditional teacher. They will need to be knowledgeable with current technology to ensure that they can assist their students. They will also need to be able to design online content, comparable to our Blackboard classes.  They need to understand how to reach their distance students attention and keep them engaged. Students will need to feel accepted and challenged in the class.

Here are a few of the guidelines from our textbook on creating online instruction:

  • We learn from the text the following guidelines for the Instructor role: (page 137)
  • Humanizing – Social connecting – using their names, pictures, personal experience and opinions
  • Participation – Social networking tools: blogs, high level interaction and dialogue
  • Message Style – Instructor is able to change tone or custom lesson according to the audience
  • Feedback – Data gathered from assignments, quizzes, polls and questionnaires for later review

In addition is the time it takes to setup an online class: “Up front, it takes a great deal of time to put curricular materials together for an online class. I’ve spent as much as several weeks reshaping my classroom materials to work for online students. In some cases, activities that I have used effortlessly in the classroom couldn’t be adapted at all for online use, such as hands-on activities; so instead, I created new but comparable activities” (Everson, 2009).

Asking questions are a good ways to get students attention and to make them feel part of the class. Our textbook gives a few tips increasing interaction by asking questions. Here are a few:

  • Humanize the online conference
  • Ask good questions
  • Limit the number / length of questions
  • Summarize the summary message to support the discussion

When we take the global perspective into consideration with distance learning, we do need to keep in mind the different social cultures and established norms. What we assume is normal in our American classrooms might not be accepted in another culture. I know in other cultures that they do not shake hands, show the bottoms of their feet or talk out of turn. In our western world environment, we accept all three acts to be a norm without incident.



Moore, M. G. (2012). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning, 3rd Edition.

Everson, Michelle. (2009, September). 10 Things I’ve Learned About Teaching Online. Retrieved on October 27, 2016 from http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=1609990

Unknown. (2015, June 22). Are you Ready to Teach Online? Readiness Surveys Aim to Help Faculty Prepare. Retrieved on October 27, 2016 from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/tag/skills-required-for-teaching-online/

Office of Distance Learning. (n.d.). Designing an Effective Course. Retrieved on October 27, 2016 from https://distance.fsu.edu/instructors/designing-online-learning


Week 7 Reflection

This we talked about supporting our students in the online environment. One of the most common peer points that I read was making sure students felt comfortable. They also need to understand what is being asked of them. Class needs will vary from semester to semester depending on the individuals. Therefore, we need to make sure our objectives are clearly stated and that we are open to customize the lessons plan if needed.

I read so many great points from my classmates:

  • Dan stated that we need to make sure that students need to feel connected.
  • Sara stated students need to stay on time with the schedule.
  • Mariah stated how important it is to design the lesson for the target audience.

674 OLTAK – Week Seven

EQ: How can we support students in being successful in our online course?

Online classes are not for everyone. Students must understand that they must be organized and most importantly be self-motivated. In addition to the student commitment is the need to have clear requirements for each student. Lee’s statement “…These requirements should be quite transparent” is on point. Often print out requirements and check off each one to ensure that I have completed all of my tasks.

Barriers What you can do
Lack of understanding of what support online students need Engage with past, present and future students to find out what support they need
Gather intelligence from external sources
Allocating and managing staff support for different needs can be difficult Consider alternative mechanisms to support students in different time zones
Offer staff guidance on roles and boundaries
Provide staff training and support
Lack of joined up systems to track where students have accessed support (and been referred onwards if needed) Develop institution-wide policies about student tracking activities and data management

Characteristics of Effective Online Learner Support (Nord):

Support services for learners are all those measures taken to facilitate learning persistence and success, and to improve the quality of the learning experience through engagement and integration into the academic community. From a student perspective, learner support services should have the following characteristics:

  1. Purposeful: exist to support learners in their studies from first inquiry through graduation and beyond; integrated into institutional mission and strategic objectives
  2. Transparent: provide clear points of contact; clear standards of service identified
  3. Accessible: available on demand according to the needs of the learner; 24/7 where possible
  4. Responsive: responsive to individual needs; provide efficient turnaround
  5. Interactive: encourage and facilitate interaction among and between students(s), faculty, student support staff, and academic content
  6. Self-directed and developmental: facilitate self-management of processes and development of skills and attitudes necessary for independence and lifelong learning
  7. Integrated: demonstrate a high level of cross-functional collaboration that results in services being experienced as seamless by the learner
  8. Open to Change: evolve continuously to accommodate new learner populations, educational developments, economic conditions, technological advances, and findings from research and evaluation.

Online classes do have different requirements than a traditional classroom. I often find there is more work to do; however, I am able to complete the work in my time – adhering to the deadlines of course. We learn through Debbie Morrison that we can motivate online students to be successful in the following phases:

Phase 1: Guiding

Phase 2: Encouraging

Phase 3: Monitoring


The guiding phase is when we introduce the requirements through the syllabus so that the students are aware of the weekly assignments and due dates. Encouraging is when the teacher and peers talk about the lessons to further knowledge on the class subject. Students are often engaged in group projects or interact via Blackboard which further supports the weekly theme. Finally monitoring takes place when we see that the student is able to apply the newly learned knowledge to other areas in classwork.



Moore, Michael. G. and Kearsley, Greg. (2012). Distance education: A systems view of online learning, 3rd edition.

Nord. n.d. How to Build Effective Online Learner Support Services. Retrieved on Oct 20, 2016 from http://teachonline.ca/tips-tools/how-build-effective-online-learner-support-services

Morrison, Debbie. (2012, Aug 3). How to Motivate Students in the Online Learning Environment. Retrieved on Oct 20, 2016 from https://onlinelearninginsights.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/screen-shot-2012-08-30-at-9-52-44-pm1.png

Unknown. (2016, Jan 20). Supporting Online Students. Retrieved on Oct 20, 2016 from https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/curriculum-design-and-support-for-online-learning/supporting-online-students

JISC. (2016, Jan 20). Supporting Online Students. Retrieved on Oct 20, 2016 from https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/curriculum-design-and-support-for-online-learning/supporting-online-students





674 Week 6 Reflection

This week we talked about Assistive Technology. I love having so many tools to help us with our limitless challenges. We are able to provide tools to help students progress in their learning. We looked at several this week. I did love the BeeLine Reader. I can see how that will help my daughter going forward. Having the words color coded helps my child with knowing which word she is on and she said it is so easy to follow. I had no idea that Google Chrome had so many tools readily available. To be honest, I don’t use Google Chrome all that much. My preferred browser is Firefox. However, after this week, I have started using it more.

This week, I learned from my classmates:

  • Cherie referenced the ADDIE model. I loved the reference as it being the blue print for a successful learning plan.
  • Amy did a great job at using the what, how, and why of learning. She mentioned a great point, that if students are engaged, they will learn.
  • Dan used a great analogy between running and online education. We need to keep challenging ourselves. We did great things when we push ourselves.