|Question:||Answers (In Note Form)|
|Describe your persona||See the profile below|
|Will this student be learning all online, blended, with support … Describe the “mediums” in which this persona might be learning. Where would learning be asynchronous or synchronous? Why?||Blended – the child will be in class when he is able. But the reality is that he will be learning from home up to 3 days a week most days. Due to his home responsibilities, the learning will have to be asynchronous.Synchronous mediums: In-class learning, “roboting” into class using telepresence robot, web-broadcasted teacher instruction. Web-based apps
Asynchronous mediums: Web-based platform; e.g. google classroom, moodle, Microsoft OneNote, or others. Web-based apps
Take-home hand-outs and materials provided by the teacher (non-web-based)
|List/ describe any digital tools that might be considered to support online learning.||Thomasz will be using a variety of digital tools that will help him succeed in his blended learning experience and his ability to cope with his general anxiety disorder and struggles with his attention span. The goal of his online learning experience is to “minimize threats” (UDL) while still having a sense of classroom belonging and community. The majority of his online learning will encompass more interactive learning (podcasts, videos, interactive readings, etc.) and learning with his close peers (who Thomasz feels comfortable working with). The digital tools that will help Thomasz in his learning journey include:
|How would you describe this student’s ideal learning context?||Ideally, the child wants to feel that his at-home learning and in-school learning can be a seamless transition. He doesn’t want to feel like he is an outsider among his peers.He enjoys working through his schoolwork at home with his parents.
|What are the real and perceived barriers to learning that are preventing safe, flexible, and supportive learning experiences and environments for this student?||Parental limits in the schedule (in supporting learning), anxiety and attention issues, limits in his personal schedule (taking care of siblings). The need to be intrinsically motivated. Possible internet connectivity issues (as is the reality with any online-based learning). Family responsibilities (siblings).|
|Are there real or perceived equity, social justice, or cultural considerations that may be preventing safe, flexible, and supportive learning experiences and environments for this persona?||We plan on creating a classroom where learners will always have space that is safe, welcoming, and supportive, free from any cultural bias or discrimination of any form. However, we will never shy away from discussing or acknowledging the way people feel that their personal identity may be affected by the society in which we live. Therefore, even though our student has no obvious need for considerations around this topic, we will always be aware that this issue may arise and we will confront it as needed. See our reference list for the multitude of articles we researched on ways to support ALL learners.|
|How would you design for this persona in a distributed learning medium versus an open learning medium? What are some of the differences that you would consider? (Check the EDCI339 Section A03 Project Description for more details about this question. The EDCI339 A)4 has a k-12 focus and is different from the EDCI339 A03 project. please follow the EDCI339 Project Expectations)||Distributed: include a mix of synchronous and asynchronous class meetings for activities and collaboration. Use online technological applications that can be used in real-time with the class and individually for formative assessment (eg Quizizz). Digital delivery of content through a learning management system using multiple modes of representation such as text, video, and audio.In this online setting, we will also consider the eight design principles prescribed by Kral and Schwab (2020) when structuring our learning space. In particular, we will ensure that we create spaces for multi-modal self-expression and socialization with peers in our LMS to help bridge the gap between Thomasz’s online and face-to-face learning experiences
Open: integrate networked learning through the use of participatory culture, digital learning spaces, and open educational resources to support the personal inquiry/connectivist learning approach. To assist Thomasz at home, structure learning assignments that require documentation (eg e-portfolio) over a period of time (formative assessment) that can be shared with others in the class and beyond.
Heightened consideration of FIPPA and privacy policies are needed in open learning as information is shared beyond class walls. With greater flexibility, choice, and capability for informal learning experiences, open learning would require increased teacher/parent support or self-efficacy skills in research, documentation, and reflection.
|How could your learning design support multiple means of engagement? Check http://udlguidelines.cast.org/for more information.||
With Thomasz’s diagnosed general anxiety disorder, it is important to create a safe environment for Thomasz. In Thomasz situation, this would include increasing small group work with who he feels comfortable with, creating a classroom community, and having constant communication with Thomasz to help him and help with his blended learning experience.
For Thomasz to successfully manage in a classroom setting and find a way to decrease his anxiety, there needs to be a classroom and school plan. In Thomasz’s classroom, he has personal connections in the school to help scaffold strategies to develop internal controls and coping skills as well as tri-weekly one-on-one classes with the school counselor. These gatherings are designed for emotional support and a review of daily checklists, reminders, and models.
For all learners, to have the most positive learning environment, there is a need for respectful connections, positive relationships, and a helpful community. Our learning design supports the fostering of collaboration and community because there is lots of opportunities for Thomasz to communicate and collaborate with peers he feels comfortable around to create his own sense of community. This is where he feels safe and has lower anxiety. This goal for Thomasz (and the class) is done through collaboration, web-broadcasting when Thomasz is learning online, and constant opportunities for classroom community building (small groups if necessary to accommodate Thomasz).
See; list of tools in our previous sections.
|How could your learning design support multiple means of representation?Check http://udlguidelines.cast.org/for more information.||Perception (provide information in different modalities and in a format that allows for adjustability by the user)
Language & Symbols (provide alternate representations for accessibility, clarity, and comprehension)
Comprehension (scaffold information for knowledge construction, processing, and transfer)
See; our list of tools to be used for this purpose in the sections above.
|How could your learning design support multiple means of action and expression?Check http://udlguidelines.cast.org/for more information.||Physical Action (interact with accessible materials and tools)
–In our learning designs, to give Thomasz his best chance to participate in all the class activities both face-to-face and virtually, we can vary the methods of response and navigation for Thomasz to eliminate any boundaries that virtually learning leads to (not having him physically present).
–We will provide alternative means of how Thomasz can present his learning to us. Instead of the traditional print-out work packages, Thomasz will be able to (if he chooses) to optimize his advanced computer skills by using writing programs such as Microsoft Word and Google docs. Thomasz will receive all his homework packages, class material, and notes through online classroom websites such as Google classroom. This way, Thomasz will have the opportunity to stay up to date with his peers even at home.
-To minimize distraction and potential miscommunication across Thomasz blended learning platforms, Thomasz will (with the help of a mentor) complete a weekly task list with clearly stated “goals” to complete for the week. This task list will be made on a platform such as MyHomework, Wunderlist, or Boximize. This will also minimize the stress on Thomasz and assist him in managing his organizational stresses.
-On these weekly task lists, Thomasz will make clear instructions on which platforms he should use for his lessons (both virtually and face-to-face). The goal behind the clear instructions of the weekly tasks is to relieve the possibility of inappropriately using the resources Thomasz is given to aid his education (computer, tablets, online apps/games).
Expression & Communication (compose and share ideas using tools that help attain learning goals)
-Because of Thomasz unique blended learning situation, he will not at all times have access to the same forms of media platforms as his peers. To help Thomasz anxieties of feeling “socially distanced” from his peers in his learning design plan we will give Thomasz the opportunities to express himself through “normal” face to face interactions and virtual sharing platforms. Thomasz will be able to be “roboted” into his class through a moveable telepresence robot which will enable him to interact with his peers and the course material.
-Thomasz will be able to complete his learning goals through a variety of social media and interactive web tools. Examples of web tools he would be using include:
-His private personal learning blog where he will be able to track and show his learning
-Google Classroom, where he and his classmates can engage in discussion forums
-Zoom video webinars with his teacher where he can engage in one-on-one lessons and use tools such as “screen share” to exhibit his learning to his teacher
-To aid Thomasz in the quality of his work and to help alleviate added stress of time management, he will be offered the help of educational apps and tools:
-Spellcheckers, grammar checkers and word prediction software (Practice English Grammar, Sentence Builder, Montessorian: intro to words)
-Text-to-speech software, voice recognition software and screen/sound recording (Speechnotes, Screencast)
Build fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance (5.3)
-To assist Thomasz through his learning, in our plans we will create multiple scaffolded lesson plans that can aid him in independence in his learning. These scaffolds will be evidenced in his weekly task lists.
-Because of Thomasz’s blended learning situation, he will be working with many different teachers/mentors. He will be with his classroom teacher in school, a tutor/EA, and his teacher at home over webinars, and if available, his mom and dad. Having these multiple sources of guided learning figures will help motivate Thomasz by allowing him to see various approaches he can take in his learning. Each mentor/learning figure will be able to give Thomasz differentiated feedback that will all be directed to Thomasz’s unique learning needs.
Executive Functions (develop and act on plans to make the most out of learning)
Guide appropriate goal-setting (6.1)
-To help assist Thomasz in becoming an independent learner and to help him manage his anxiety with both organizational skills, we will implement a weekly task list that contains scaffolds and guides to maintaining consistency in his work ethic and schooling both at home and face-to-face. Along with these weekly tasks, Thomasz will sit down with his various mentors to create long-term and short-term goals based on Thomasz’s desires and learning outcomes, as well as his parents, his teacher, and provincial educational standards.
Support planning and strategy development (6.2)/Facilitate managing information and resources (6.3)/Enhance capacity for monitoring progress (6.4)
–To help Thomasz see his growth and to monitor his progress for his parent’s benefit and the school’s, his teachers/mentors will keep records of Thomasz’s progression of weekly expectations, monthly expectations, and yearly expectations on a scale designed by his mentors with help from Thomasz. We wish that Thomasz can feel comfortable sharing how he wishes to receive feedback in his work, whether it be through:
-Rubrics made by teachers/mentors
– Video review
– Peer feedback
(click here to see our methods of generation)
|Name: Thomasz Horvath (Tom, Tommy)Gender: Male
Age: 10 (Grade 4)
Lives in: Southeastern British Columbia
Like: Mountain biking, Dogs, Roblox
|Education and experience||A blend of face to face and online school due to his living situation. Thomasz attends a school in the southeast region of B.C. Due to moving between locations throughout the week, Tommy is able to attend a face to face class only 2 – 3 days a week. Therefore, the rest of the week is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous online learning with his Grade 4 class.Thomasz has achieved his competencies successfully through his previous classes. His previous teachers have noted that he has shown an aptitude towards Math, Physical Education, and Computer skills. He gets along with his classmates and does contribute to classroom discussions. However, he is not the most outspoken of students due to his feelings of anxiety. He has limited experience with formal online learning, but we predict that his advanced computer skills and his willingness to engage will be helpful attributes to his online learning.|
|Roles and responsibilities||He has two younger siblings and is a big help to his parents because of their work schedules and separation. He is really into mountain biking and has a spot on the school club, but misses a lot of activities due to his family situation. In the classroom, Tom has shown an ability to socialize with his peers, due to his anxiety he can seem shy, but when given the opportunity and multiple means of expression, he is fully competent in social settings.|
|Technical skills||Has an interest in video games so his computer skills are quite advanced. Due to living in a rural setting half of the time, he has also developed a strong understanding of digital communication tools, especially Zoom and Google meet. However, staying on task for longer periods of time is sometimes difficult. Therefore, interactive elements and creation tools will be key to keeping him engaged in his learning.|
|Subject domain skills and knowledge||He has advanced computer skills for his age, knowledge of the environment and his town’s surroundings, and is quite athletic.|
|Motivation and desires||Wants to please others, desires positive reinforcement.|
|Goals and expectations||Thomasz’s goal is to be able to complete grade 4 in a combination of online and face to face learning and gain a comparable learning outcome as his classmates.|
|Obstacles to their success||He was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder and struggles with his attention span (is working to overcome these learning challenges).Has to travel to a remote location half of the days of the week due to his parents’ jobs. He also struggles with organizational skills.|
|Unique assets||Advanced math skills, very good athlete, advanced computer skills. A caring member of the classroom community. Described by adults as “sweet” and by his peers as “nice.”|
General Overview Video:
In terms of supporting Thomasz in the online and open portion of his blended learning setting, we will be offering multiple means of representation (with reference to perception, language and symbols, and comprehension) when delivering content to facilitating a flexible and safe learning environment. A prominent obstacle to Thomasz’s success is his struggles with attention span and deciphering longer segments of text. To increase levels of accessibility and leverage Thomasz’s limited working memory capacity, we will utilize research from Mayer’s (2014) multimedia learning principles when creating and curating effective alternatives of visual and auditory displays of information through tools such as videos, podcasts, and interactive reading sites. A majority of these digital representations of content will provide opportunities for customization such as volume/rate of speech, size, and layout of visual information, and color/text contrast as accessible through the class management system hub. To maintain a seamless transition between online and face to face settings, instruction of digital literacy skills will also be incorporated into lessons in the brick and mortar space.
Furthermore, in supporting and strengthening Thomasz’s ability in text interpretation, we will offer multiple embedded tools within digital documents such as hyperlinks to definitions, charts, and maps of key vocabulary and symbols for alternate representations of meaning. Positive findings from Proctor et al.’s (2007) study of utilizing multimedia text with embedded instruction on reading achievement performance also guide the development of our support system for Thomasz. In addition, speech-text and text-speech software will also be available to provide ease of access when reading and collaborating with others. Whenever possible, we will incorporate visual elements such as pictures, videos, and diagrams into written instructional material. In addition to ‘chunking’ information into smaller, progressive sections, the overall process of meaning-making will be supported through models and scaffolds using graphic organizers, concept maps, and visual prompts to emphasize critical features and relationships which will help highlight the organizational structure and paraphrasing strategies. Aspects of a flipped learning model will be incorporated by providing condensed videos, blog posts, or handouts of material linking back to previous knowledge.
Multiple Means of Engagement Video:
Action and Expression Explanation:
Thomasz has many unique qualities that make-up him as a learner. To optimize his learning and to feed his confidence, it is up to us as Thomasz educational designers to come up with resources, strategies, and tools to support him. Thomasz has unique ways of navigating through his learning environments and expressing his understanding and knowledge (http://udlguidelines.cast.org/) it’s the responsibility of us to optimize Thomasz’s ability and means of expression.
The resources we have created for Thomasz are ones that will aid him by giving him alternative means of presenting his knowledge. Instead of traditional print-out packages, Thomasz will be able to use software programs and interactive online platforms. These resources will give him the chance to move between his online and face-to-face blended learning seamlessly. To support Thomasz and his anxiety challenges with separation and feelings of social isolation, we will encourage the use of multiple means of communication such as a telepresence robot, zoom videos, google classroom discussion forums, and blogging. These communication tools will be beneficial to Thomasz feeling included amongst his classmates at school and home. Having the opportunity to feel socially interactive with his classmates will increase his construction of knowledge by allowing him to share his ideas and hear those of his peers (Garett Dickers, 2018). To alleviate added stress of time management; and to erase the possibility of deceived perceptions of the quality of Thomasz’s work, we will give him access to tools made for constructing and composing such as spellcheckers, word prediction software, and text-to-speech software. These tools will encourage Thomasz to complete his work regardless of having to require support or giving up because of frustration (MacArthur, C., Graham, S., Haynes, J., & DeLaPaz, S. 1996). To improve Thomasz’s organizational and self-motivation skills, we, as well with his teachers/mentors and parents, will implement and guide him in creating a goal-setting system where he can see his progression throughout his learning.
Our goal as his educational designers is to create learning environments for Thomasz that are specifically designed with his needs first. We understand that his blended learning style of open learning, online learning, and face-to-face is still very new in the world of teaching. However, if our efforts mean that Thomasz can meet his learning goals and desires, then we will do whatever it takes and redesign Thomasz’s educational plan until his needs are met.
(click here for our annotated version)
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