Context ESL Licensure Program 1983: ESL licensure rule approved in MN 1984: Hamline University approved to offer the first ESL K-12 teacher licensure program in State 1997: Online offerings begin for some ESL licensure courses. Over the next several years, all licensure coursework would be online with one exception… 2008: ESL Methods, the final licensure course, offered online.
Constructivism, our definition: Instructional Goals that are INTERACTIVE: Engaging: recognizes the tenets of adult learning principles Challenging: requires the application of SLA theories and general linguistic knowledge into lesson design and delivery Community-based: recognizes the co-constructed nature of knowledge
Traditional online course design: Content + Ss = Learning
Our approach: Philosophy ( Content + Ss) = Learning Where philosophy is defined as: engaging, challenging, community-based. Philosophy ( Content + Ss) = Learning Where philosophy is defined as: engaging, challenging, community-based.
Our philosophy, grounded in Constructivist Theory and best practice for adult learners requires students to INTERACT with course concepts and each other in order to develop and demonstrate knowledge of course concepts. Interaction took place through online Projects Presentations Group work Discussions Activities
How did we translate a face to face course to online? Step 1: Establish a design team: content expert, tech expert minimum, we also had a bridging expert. Step 2: Deconstruct (or create) the course goals, objectives and principles. Carefully examine the purpose for every lesson, activity, assignment. For new courses, this step integrates the standards required by the state and/or NCATE as well as the determination of how knowledge will be demonstrated by students (assessment). Step 3: Given the nature of the course, we identified 4 critical knowledge strands: review, new content, community building, assessment. Purpose of instruction (course goals/objectives) were clarified within each strand. Step 4: Make choices about interaction and technology.
Community Building Strand Assignment: Mingle to discuss and answer questions. Technology: Wiki
Review Strand: Assignment: Jigsaw - read, review and present a synthesis of various SLA theories. Technology: Powerpoint and Elluminate.
New Material Strand Assignment: Jigsaw Readings on vocabulary research, answer specific questions, discuss and synthesize key information in like groups, present overview in cross-study groups. Technology: word doc, wiki for like groups, wiki for jigsaw
Assessment Strand: Assignment: Group developed vocabulary lesson plan Technology: Wiki
Our process and beliefs: Most of our students have some teaching experience. Acknowledging their prior knowledge and world experiences is essential in supporting their engagement in the course. Students bring a wealth of knowledge with them to the course. We also know, as ESL specialists, teaching through a language lens is difficult. New information and ways of thinking must be provided to students and they must have structured opportunities to apply new information and language specific methodologies to real-life situations – the challenge element of the course. Course content must be made explicit, as well as the opportunities for application. New knowledge is co-constructed. This happens through sharing knowledge, the community-based element, reflecting upon and challenging ones currently held beliefs. Interaction with new information and with colleagues supports this co-construction of knowledge.
The Philosophy, Constructivism & the Course Two Dimensions - CONTENT, Presentation & Activities: Engagement: Students bring a wealth of knowledge with them to the course. Challenging: Course content must be made explicit, as well as the opportunities for application. PEOPLE, Instructor & Students: Community-based: New knowledge is co-constructed.
Evidence of Philosophy in Course Design Teacher Led Course Material PresentationsMonitored connection between teacher and students Presentation Activity Student reflection and discovery Collaborative Assignments Student Led