I spent 3.5 hours today to redesign the initial storyboard, using the critique of the reviewers as well as my own knowledge of what can be done to enhance the instructional unit. The easiest part was to eliminate that which was unimportant. It was relatively simple, because certain things were off the wall. For instance, reviewing grammar at the end of Class Session 2 is absolutely unnecessary, because there are tutorials that students can and should watch outside the class. Also, duplicate exercises were removed. One of the reasons for duplicate exercises was that the teacher possible didn’t know that online homework has already required students to do certain exercises. Finally, I reduced the size of the words and phrases to mandatory learning from 93 to 60. Because students will have to learn them in one sitting, it is reasonable not to overload them. Plus, at least 20 words in the lists repeat the words that students definitely learned in previous Spanish classes.
The next thing was to add something meaningful. I use Gagné’s instructional theory as my working tool. It was clear that the current instruction lacked certain events (gain attention, inform of objectives, provide feedback, assess performance). Not all those steps could be used for Class Session I; however, most could. I also added more work for the teacher. S/he has to prepare certain activities at home that were not created by the textbook authors. Specifically, the translational warm-up activity and a hand-out to students with tips on how to learn vocabulary in a foreign language. To explain my theoretical (and practical) reasoning, I added two appendices on vocabulary acquisition at the end of the presentation. Finally, to give explanations to other changes in the storyboard, I decided to use boxes with the blue font and a glowing frame. These boxes signal what exactly has been changed and a simply why-answer. It will look like this:
I know I still have perhaps 2.5 hours before I complete this project and will be done with the course. Plus 3 hours of another online session. As of now, I already spent 41 hours on this class: 7—virtual residencies, 2—familiarizing with the Blackboard and materials, 22—readings, self-checks, and reflection journal, 10 hours—storyboarding. Expected time spent on this course: 50 hours. Almost as much as I spend on the Project Management class in the spring semester. Only, this class will be done in 4 weeks. Four weeks. Cool!