1) “What is contextual teaching and learning?” (4.5 pages) (CTL)

CTL “helps us relate subject matter content to real world situations and motivate students to make connections between knowledge and its applications to their lives as family members, citizens, and workers and engage in the hard work that learning requires” (p. 1). “According to contextual learning theory, learning occurs only when students (learners) process new information or knowledge in such a way that it makes sense to them in their own frames of reference (their own inner worlds of memory, experience, and response)” (p. 1).

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1) Allen, Tanner. (2006). Rubrics—Tools for Making Learning Goals and Evaluation Criteria Explicit for Both Teachers and Learners

Rubric is “a type of matrix that provides scaled levels of achievement or understanding for a set of criteria or dimensions of quality for a given type of performance, for example, a paper, an oral presentation, or use of teamwork skills. In this type of rubric, the scaled levels of achievement (gradations of quality) are indexed to a desired or appropriate standard (e.g., to the performance of an expert or to the highest level of accomplishment evidenced by a particular cohort of students). The descriptions of the possible levels of attainment for each of the criteria or dimensions of performance are described fully enough to make them useful for judgment of, or reflection on, progress toward valued objectives” (p. 197).

There is a holistic rubric and an analytical rubric. Holistic rubrics have details (criteria and grading scales). Analytical aren’t so detailed, but they are detailed in their own way: they define precisely what needs to be done or accomplished.

“a “usable” rubric are to ask both students and colleagues to provide feedback on the first draft, particularly with respect to the clarity and gradations of the descriptions of criteria for each level of accomplishment, and to try out the rubric using past examples of student work” (p. 201). “descriptions for each level of performance provide a “real world” connection by stating the implications for accomplishment at that level” (p. 201). For example, ‘you study would convince peers and be published in a peer-review journal.’

“rubrics allow for both quantitative and qualitative analysis of student performance” (p. 202).

“can give students a clear sense of what the expectations are for a high level of performance on a given assignment, and how they can be met” (p. 203).

2) Mertler, Craig. (2001). Designing scoring rubrics for your classroom

Rubrics are rating scales—as opposed to checklists—that are specifically used with performance assessments” (p. 2). A “holistic rubric requires the teacher to score the overall process or product as a whole, without judging the component parts separately. In contrast, with an analytic rubric, the teacher scores separate, individual parts of the product or performance first, then sums the individual scores to obtain a total score” (p. 2).

2 types of rubrics

Holistic rubrics do not give much feedback to students, more summative by nature. Analytical rubrics give a lot of feedback to students and teachers alike. Because each specific performance task is assessed. “Regardless of which type of rubric is selected, specific performance criteria and observable indicators must be identified as an initial step to development” (p. 4). “If an overall, summative score is desired, a holistic scoring approach would be more desirable. In contrast, if formative feedback is the goal, an analytic scoring rubric should be used” (p. 4).

example of qualitative descriptives for rubrics

But rubrics aren’t grades. Converting rubric ratings to a grade is more subtle, more logical than numerical.  Find a system of conversion.


Chapter 11: Teaching by Fostering Learning Strategies

“A learning strategy refers to cognitive processing performed by a learner at the time of learning that is intended to improve learning. This definition has three main parts: (1) a learning strategy involves intentional cognitive processing by the learner; (2) a learning strategy occurs at the time of learning; and (3) a learning strategy is intended to improve learning“ (p. 390). “The theme of this chapter is that teaching of learning strategies is an appropriate instructional activity” (p. 427).

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Chapter 8: Teaching by Providing Concreteness, Activity, and Familiarity

Learning by rote versus learning by understanding. Meaningful methods are concrete, discovery, and inductive methods. “Each represents a form of guided exploration in which a learner is asked to solve a problem and is given some support along the way-including relating the problem to concrete objects (concrete methods), giving hints to keep the learner on track (discovery-oriented methods), and relating the task to something the learner already knows (inductive methods)” (p. 295).

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Why scavenger hunt?

Tiffany explained that everything she does in our IDD&E courses is done by design. By now, we already started to pick up on it. Even if some things don’t appear useful, in fact, they are. The scavenger hunt (what a phrase!) was an activity to run across the Blackboard and see how the course is organized, what resources are available for us, and what deliverables we are responsible to produce. It was just 15 minutes and I was fooled by the activity. It was very intense. The hunt kept me very engaged and I may use it in my instructional unit enhancement for this IDE737 class. It was a great warm-up exercise, though I benefited more from my own 2-hour browsing on the website and reading stuff on Monday, May 23, when the class officially started.

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It was a review of 44 papers on advance organizers published around 1980. Idea: when material is totally new, advance organizers help provide the necessary context (“anchor” for so-called prior knowledge) on which to base the new material. This is supported by the assimilation theory, but not reception theory. The reception theory “is based on the idea that amount learned depends on amount presented and received by the learner” (p. 25). Also, the assumption is that “advance organizers encourage a more integrated, broader learning outcome” (p. 31). In short, the assimilation  theory  is supported by the results of the studies on advance organizers (p. 37). Honestly, reading only the conclusion would suffice (p. 37–41).

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David Merrill (2002) identified five “prescriptive design principles” that are common to an amalgam of instructional theories and models (p. 43):

  • Learning is promoted when learners are engaged in solving real-world problems.
  • Learning is promoted when existing knowledge is activated as a foundation for new knowledge.
  • Learning is promoted when new knowledge is demonstrated to the learner.
  • Learning is promoted when new knowledge is applied by the learner.
  • Learning is promoted when new knowledge is integrated into the learner’s world.

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