Friday, April 11, 2014

Planning to be Not There......

I took the first of my 8 support days today and I focussed my time on planning the online Level 1 module.
It was a very productive day, with making screencasts and instruction sets for all the tasks that make up the project.
It is definitely a different thought process to plan a course where the students do not get me to show and tell them what to do in person. I have tried to break it down into the chunks that I think make it clear to understand and I will see how effective that is when my trial set of Year 10 students work their way through it. Nine members of my Year 10 tutor class have agreed to trial it for me when it is ready. The payoff for them is that they will get 4 Level 1 credits out of it while they are still in year 10.
I went into work today even though I was off timetable to do this as I knew that I would get more work done there than at home, but the tricky part was finding somewhere quiet enough to make my screencasts. I made the decision not to make each screen cast too long ( none of them are over 4 minutes), so if there was more to cover, I split that section up into two parts. I did this so the information is in bite size pieces that can be easily covered in a short time. The students are doing all of this in their own time, so I did not want to make each section in each task a long painful process that would put them off going back.
The key points from me doing a MOOC with Future Learn that I wanted to include are :-
  • Small chunks  of information in the form of video
  • Visual tracking of progress
  • Community / forum support

For the tracking, I have used a Google spreadsheet that the students will change the colour of each task as they go along. They will embed this on the front page of their Google site so it is the first thing that they see when they go back to their work.
I have set up a Google plus community for the forum support element that is needed in the online course, as I have used this with my classes already this year and it is proving very effective to support their writing.
Of the 10 tasks in the project, I have completed 7 of them so far and I really need to finish the others over the weekend as I want the students to have access to this next week so they can make a start over the 2 week holiday if they want to.

I am really looking forward to them making a start and seeing how it goes.
I have warned them that I will be sending them regular Google forms to get feedback from them about how they are finding the process.

Update - Sunday 13th April
I completed the tasks today, I have had it checked over by a couple of fresh pairs of eyes and I have sent the link to my 9 guinea pigs.
I have to be patient now.

A bit later on Sunday....

I have a had a bite. I have been getting excited watching one of my students enrol, start his folders and site and share things with me, then watch him make his site ready to go, use his tracking sheet and decide which architect he is going to research. 
I need to stop stalking.

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