Choosing Learning Goals
It is useful to be clear about your goals for supporting learning and consider how they might be supported by learning activities, interactions and assessments in the WordPress platform and in open teaching and learning. By communicating these goals it can assist learners direct their effort, monitor their progress and provide them with signposts and milestones as they complete the course, or activity. As an instructor they can help you to select content and activities.
Angelo and Cross developed a Teaching Goals Inventory that may be quite helpful to you in assessing the sorts of learning that you focus your efforts on as a teacher. They have an online inventory for self assessment.
Carnegie Mellon University offers an excellent resource on the the value of learning objectives in promoting student learning.
Background on Learning Goals
Course goals are broad statements about what learners will have achieved by the end of the course. They are meant to be enduring and will provide the basis for the development of learning objectives, which are more specific and fine-tuned. Using the metaphor of your course as a building, the course goals might be the foundation and the objectives the scaffolding - important to the construction, but not the same as the foundation.
Taxonomies can be helpful in preparing to write course goals. These may include:
- Bloom's Taxonomy
- Bloom's Digital Taxonomy - A. Churches
- Dee Fink's Taxonomy of Significant Learning
- Wiggins & McTighe 6 Facets of Understanding
Well written course goals often have the following characteristics:
- Descriptive and Learner-Centered: "What will learners be able to do, apply, connect, demonstrate as a result of their learning in the course?"
- Measurable (for you and learners): "How will you (and learners) know when they have achieved this?"
- Clear and understandable: "Will the learner know what this means?"
- Appropriately general: "Is this an overarching goal appropriate to the completion of the course?"
- Suited to the level of the course
- Leading to authentic, real-world applications.
Explore learning goals for your WordPress Course.
- Choose one or two learning goals from your own course and explore in a blog post on your own site how they could be accomplished in WordPress. Consider how you will assess these learning goals? What learning activities specific to open teaching or WordPress may be effective in achieving these goals?
- Comment on someone else’s post. In your comments discuss learning goals that you have used in WordPress courses, and challenges and constraints you have run into and strategies you have used to deal with them. What other activities might be useful in meeting these course goals?
Implement prototype architecture for your course in WordPress.
For this exercise, you might:
- Have a conversation with yourself about the design (some suggested questions to get you started under First Steps).
- Prototype with a drawing. Consider the sort of course "web" you need to build to support learning around your course themes, questions, intentions. Draw this out using a piece of paper and a pencil to start or , if you prefer to keep everything digital, choose your favorite drawing app or mindmapping tool. It is helpful to start simple with a prototype and work from there. Once you have something you think will work:
- Create the structure in your WordPress course (or refine what you already have).
- Save your drawing - you may want to use it in your blog post or screencast when it comes time to share your work in progress in Week 3.
Prior to implementing a design, structure for your course, it may be useful to have a conversation with yourself about exactly how you expect learners to interact with the course. As you consider these questions, note down any practices that you need to learn more about or search for plug-ins that may fit your goals.
Consider elements of effective design for an open course:
- Autonomy: How will you emphasize choice (in terms of learning pathway, approach, interests, etc? Is it important that learners share their goals for the course, if so how will you implement an approach for this? How will learner's know what your goals are? Are they explicit linked to assessment practices and activities?
- Openness: in terms of access, content, activities and assessment. Are you using open resources, readings, texts, etc.? Are there certain aspects of the course that require privacy? If so, how will you set this up? Will your participants be added to your course (as users) or are you bringing them together via other strategies (using feeds for example). What role will learners play in assessing their/others'work? What role will you play? What strategies do you need to support that work?
- Interactivity: How will learners be interacting with one another in the course? Where will discussions take place? How will learners share their work? In what ways will you encourage the practice of "uncoverage"? Mark Sample provides a basic overview of this concept in this article.
- Diversity: How will you account for multiple ways of representing ideas? How might varied perspectives be acknowledged in course interactions? What strategies will you use to encourage/support diversity of perspectives and a respectful climate for exchange of ideas?
- Way finding: what strategies will you use to orient your learners to the course and its networks and processes?
Help With WordPress
- WordPress TV How-Tos - a set of tutorials on general things you need to know to set up your site.
- WP Beginner offers a variety of video based WP tutorials on a variety of topics - slightly more advanced than WordPress TV.: WPBeginner: WordPress Tutorials
- How To Use WordPress As A Learning Management System - Long overview (somewhat vendor-ish) article on using WordPress as an LMS] but helpful in considering some traditional course architecture.
- Feed WordPress 101 - the Basics: because many things will be accomplished in your course through the use of feeds - so knowing how to use FeedWP can be very useful
- Here is a list of Plug-ins and Resources, tools to help you do things like discussions, polls, submitting forms, and more.
Contribute an assignment to the assignment bank.
The "assignment bank" we have set up for this course is designed to house assignments that instructors might give to their students for doing activities or assessments in WordPress. We have created a few sample assignments and put them in the assignment bank already, but it would be great to have more to share with other participants in the course, as well as people who come to this site after the course is finished. Your assignment could be something as simple as asking student to participate in a discussion in some way, or to post larger projects, or to submit work for assessment, or anything else you can think of.
Please go to the assignment bank submission form and submit your assignment idea!