The Teacher and the Curriculum

Online Blog 4 covers the questions posted in Module 12, Activity 12-3: 

a.Does the curriculum process follow a top-down or bottom-up approach?

The curriculum process follows a top-down approach. Every aspect of the school curriculum is conceived and initiated by the Central Level, then the Central Level disseminates the task to the Regional/Division Level for proper implementation and adaption of the educational progammes corresponding the needs and cultures  of the region/division, before handing over the curriculum process to the School Level. The School Level will then implement the curriculum and makes the necessary adjustments to adapt the curriculum to the needs and abilities of the learners.

b. What are the potential strengths and weaknesses of this approach?

The potential strengths of this approach would include:

  1. Simplicity of the process since making decision with more people is more complicated
  2. Swiftness in the decision making process since making decision with more people will take more time.
  3. Easy to evaluate and know if the plans have been fulfilled or not.

While the weaknesses of this approach would include:

  1. Low participation – failure to generate adequate understanding, support, and commitment from the lower levels when not properly cascaded will eventually result to an unsuccessful implementation.
  2. Requires ample knowledge at the top level since every aspect of the curriculum would be coming from them.
  3. Failure to use or acknowledge specialized knowledge that might be present in the lower levels of the organization because everything is conceived/initiated from the top level.

c. What role does the teacher have in the process- curriculum planner, implementer or both?

The role of the teacher in the process is more of an implementer rather than a planner.  This is because every aspect of the curriculum is conceived and initiated by the Central Level before cascading to the Regional/Divisional Level and finally reaching the School Level.  The School Level will then adjust/modify and adapt the curriculum based on the learners various needs and abilities. The teacher will be the one to implement the adapted curriculum in the classroom. He/She will adopt the learning materials, implement activities that will develop lifelong and life-wide competencies, and will finally report on the students’ progress and performance to school officials and parents.

d. What is the ideal role of a teacher in the curriculum process? Why?

Based on the article Role of Teachers in the Curriculum Process by Stacey Zeiger, “In order to create a strong curriculum, teachers must play an integral role in every step of the process.”.  This is because the teachers are the ones who work directly with the students, therefore, they know best what should be included in the curriculum and how they will benefit from it. Ideally, teachers must be involved in the planning, creation, implementation, and reflection of the curriculum.  Teachers know better when it comes to the needs of their students than others involved in the process.  They can only dictate the skills covered by the curriculum, but the “teachers can provide insight into the types of materials, activities, and skills that need to be included” in the curriculum, according to the article. In addition, since the teachers are the ones who will use the curriculum, they should have a contribution in its creation because the teacher can identify whether the activity will be appropriate for the stated time frame and whether it will gain the participation of the students.  Involving teachers in the creation of curriculum will give them a sense of ownership in the final product and will give them more confidence in its implementation.  The article also says that, “a strong curriculum is designed to allow the teacher to be flexible and to insert a few personalized components or choose among a selection of activities.” This means that even in the implementation part of the curriculum, the teacher must not be boxed within the parameters of the given curriculum, instead, teachers must be given the freedom to creatively modify it depending on the classroom situation. And lastly, teachers must also be involved in the evaluation of the curriculum  they are the ones who actually use it, hence, they know what changes should be made, knowledge/information and activities to be added or removed, areas to be improved or modified, and/or might eventually give way to the creation of a new curriculum.

 

References:

Arsad, Nefertari A. (2016) Principles and Processes in Curriculum Development, Los Banos: University of the Philippines Open University, Module 12: Curriculum Issues Pertaining to Basic Education in the Philippines

Zeiger, Stacey. (2016) Role of Teachers in the Curriculum Process, available at:

http://work.chron.com/role-teachers-curriculum-process-5344.html

http://www.12manage.com/description_top_down_approach.html

 

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Cyclical Rather Than Linear

Online Blog 3 

Answer the questionLooking at the 6 models of curriculum development, which is the most viable and realistic? Explain your answer  

In my opinion, the Nicholls cyclical model is the most viable and realistic model of curriculum.  It was described in Module 7 as a cyclical process which “assumes that curriculum development is a dynamic, ongoing process that accommodates the new educational developments or external situations as they come.”. Since our current education system is very dynamic and fast pacing, especially with the presence of technology, I believe that this is the curriculum model that will best fit the needs of our present education system. The development of curriculum must be an ongoing process due to the many factors affecting the education system, such as advancement in technology and societal and global demands for employment, to name a few. The curriculum must be adaptive and flexible to cope up with the changes and challenges ahead, and to ensure the efficiency and effectivity of our education system despite the changing times.

This is why situational analysis is very important in order to come up with realistic, achievable and appropriate learning goals.  This is followed by the selection and organization of content  to properly identify the knowledge (facts, theories, and principles) and skills (procedures and processes) necessary for a particular field of study.  Selection and organization of methods is also important to achieve the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor objectives set for the learners.  The element of evaluation is also indispensable because of the need to regularly assess, revise, adjust, and update the curriculum depending on the needs of the students and the current and future demands of the society and the country as a whole.  The elements of this curriculum model are all essential in providing a quality education for the learners.

Aside from adaptability and flexibility, another advantage of this curriculum model is the feedback mechanism it provides to the students where they can measure their progress and efficiency. This is so vital in the learning process of the students so that they would know where they are good at and which areas they need to improve on. In addition, since the curriculum is cyclical and nonlinear in approach, the setting of objectives can be the final step and the first as well, which is what normally transpires in actual practice.  I think there is no such thing as a perfect curriculum model, each one has their own benefits and downsides. The important thing is that whatever model of curriculum is selected, it should address the needs of the learners to ensure that they will receive the quality of education they rightfully deserve.

 

References:

Arsad, Nefertari A. (2016) Principles and Processes in Curriculum Development, Los Banos: University of the Philippines Open University, Module 7: Models of Curriculum Development

Lunenberg, Fred C. (2001). Curriculum Development: Inductive Models, Schooling vol. 2. no. 1, 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2012 from http://www.nationalforum.com/Electronic%20Journal%20Volumes/Lunenburg,%20Fred%20C.%20Curriculum%20Development-Inductive%20ModelsSchooling%20V2%20N1%202011.pdf

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Paradigm Shift in Education for the Next Generation

Blog 2: Answer the following questions:

  1. What conception of education is being critiqued? 
  2. What reasons does the speaker give for disagreeing with this conception?
  3. What conception of education does he propose or argue for? Explain. 
  4. Do you agree with his argument? Explain.  

The old, traditional conception of education is being criticized in this video clip of Sir Ken Robinson.  He emphasized the basic elements that really matters in the concept of education by comparing education to theater.  In theater, the actor, the audience, and the space are the minimum requirements to be called a theater, all the rest, such as the script, wardrobes etc., are mere additions to it.  In the same way, the basic elements necessary in the concept of education are the teacher, the learner, and the space for learning.  He said education is the relationship between the teacher and the learner, just as theater is to the actor and the audience.  He even said that nothing should be added to that relationship unless it improves it.  But the many accompaniments  being put into education, such as testing regimes, policies, etc.,  overshadowed its true value rather than accentuate.

The many ideas embedded in the current education system significantly hamper the learner from experiencing genuine freedom in education.  The ideology about academic value, wherein some people believed that some subjects/disciplines are more important and useful than other subjects/disciplines (which are considered interesting but useless), is practically for economic utility.  But somehow, this ideology disregards the fact that human life is based on diversity and individuality. He said, ”The big problem of education is that it is based on principles of conformity and increasing of standardization, which is why many people pass through the hall of education feeling disconnected from it because it doesn’t speak to them, it depresses them spiritually.”  He highlighted that we should go back to the basics of education and these are not a group of subjects, but these are the three purposes of education:  personal, cultural, and economic.

He described education as” inevitably and unavoidably and properly personal, and people should not be treated as homogeneous units going through education because people  have different capacities, different interests, and different passions. “ He said that, “One of the purpose of education is to connect people with their own sense of possibility. The principle here is that, human resources are like natural resources, they are often very deep beneath the surface.”  Their hidden talents and capabilities are just waiting for the right opportunity to be discovered.  But his concern is that, the narrow curriculum cuts off opportunities for people whose real talents may lie in the areas they were hampered from pursuing.  They were taught to believe that they were not good at anything because they were not good at what is required of them. Thus, their talents will remain hidden due to lack of opportunities to showcase them.  He emphasized this purpose by enumerating the priorities for personalized education: (a) to help people get in touch with their real capabilities; (b) to give them a genuine sense of creativity in the world they face; (c) to give them a sense of confidence about what they are capable of achieving.  He strongly believes that personalized curriculum is the solution to address  the issue.  Unless these priorities are met, education would just be a one-size-fits-all  system of learning.  Concerning culture, he said that there is a need for an education process that allows us to have our own cultural identity, yet at the same time, engages with the identities, values, and ways of being of other people and encourages a sense of acceptance and reciprocity.  Unquestionably, education has a very strong economic purpose.  He said that we are presently living in a revolution and as he described it, “it’s the combination of technologies, culture, and resources.”  Change has to happen and that change has implications on the curriculum, teaching methods and style, use of technology, and assessment.  The new technologies are changing everything and presenting limitless opportunities for the personalization and globalization of education, which is why we should take advantage of it. He even added that our world is becoming more and more complicated and therefore, there is a need for a new revival in order to cope with complexity and change our present ways of doing things to be able to adapt to different circumstances.  But that would be hard to achieve with the rigid and narrow curriculum that we currently have.  He said that we do it “by getting our children to live the lives they are leading and by promoting the powers of responsibility, adaptability, and creativity.”

I agree with the argument and proposition of Sir Ken Robinson.  Each individual is uniquely and diversely created, which is why we behave, learn, and grow differently.  But no matter how different we are, we all have that same goal of knowing our inner selves, our capacities and capabilities, and the endless possibilities that we can attain in this life that we were given. I believe that education plays a very significant role in every person’s life.  Education should serve as the avenue that will lead to the end goal that each person sets to achieve.  He said that “Education is how we prepare ourselves to meet the challenges of these short lives that we have.” But if the present curriculum extinguishes the many opportunities that might have unleashed the hidden talents and capabilities of an individual, how will education prepare the next generation in facing the many challenges that they would encounter in the future?  I agree that the old ways of thinking about education should long be gone, and instead, welcome the limitless possibilities that the learners might have become in the future if they will be given the freedom to choose the path that they would like to take. A paradigm shift is necessary if we want an education system that celebrates and cultivates the capabilities and potentials of the future generation.

 

Reference:

Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity, Learning and Curriculum. Retrieved 29 July 2012 from

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Curriculum and Me

  1. How does your previous concept of curriculum compare to the way curriculum is defined in this module?

I used to think that curriculum is synonymous only to syllabus, but after reading Module 1, I had a better understanding of what curriculum really means and how it is different from syllabus. According to M. Print (1993), “Curriculum is defined as all the planned learning opportunities offered to learners by the educational institution and the experiences learners encounter when the curriculum is implemented.”  Therefore, it is more than just a piece of paper or a tool because curriculum contains plans, processes, experiences/opportunities, and results.

I also understood that since curriculum is a process, its definition changes, depending on the stage it is being defined.  Thus, there is the so-called “planned/intended” curriculum, which is also referred to as the “written and/or official” curriculum because aside from it is usually presented in official documents, it is what the school envisions as important learning and teaching. But as planned curriculum is put into practice, several factors cause the curriculum to be modified.  These factors include the skill base of the teacher, the culture of teaching and learning in the school, and the proper use of the resources available to the students such as good textbooks. It is now called “implemented” curriculum because it is what was actually delivered in the classroom. On the other hand, what the learners essentially learned, and can be assessed as their learning outcomes or learner competencies is the “achieved” or “learned” curriculum. But based on the audio clip, there is also what is called the “hidden” curriculum which is the unexpected impact of a curriculum or the unforeseen aspects of the learning process.

As an educator, I realized how important it is to widen and improve my skill-base because it will greatly affect the way I implement the intended curriculum in the classroom, and eventually be able to achieve the desired results for the students.  I need to be more equipped, knowledgeable, creative, and dynamic to make the learning experience richer and enjoyable for the students, because the more they learn, the more advantageous the curriculum will be for them.

  1. Referring to the audio clip, Curriculum as Practice, briefly discuss the possible outcomes of each class given the approaches of their respective teacher.

Teacher Number One’s Approach:          

In my opinion, the approach used by the first teacher was quite intimidating to the class.  It did not encourage critical thinking and active participation among the students.  They were not able to relate the topic to their own personal experiences which made the learning process harder for them.  As a result, it is possible that the students will not completely understand the topic and will continue to inactively participate because they were not motivated to learn.  The classroom environment that the teacher created was not conducive for learning since the learners were not enjoying the learning process.

Teacher Number Two’s Approach: 

The second teacher’s approach encouraged the students to think expansively and deeply. He was able to relate the topic to the students’ personal experiences which made it easier for them to understand the topic.  The students were very participative because the teacher gladly acknowledged all their responses. They were free to give their answers since they didn’t feel intimidated or threatened. With this kind of approach, the teacher is creating a stimulating and pleasurable environment for teaching and learning, thus, it is possible that the students will learn more easily and will be more interested in learning because they are enjoying the learning process.

A statement from the audio clip struck me the most: “It is often about ethos, not about resources.”  I agree that while resources, such as access to computers and other school properties, are relevant to quality education, they are of less importance than school culture when it comes to learning. The teacher’s character, disposition, values, teaching style and strategy, as well as the culture of teaching and learning in the school, create an enormous impact on the learning behavior of the students.  I always believe that the students will learn more easily if they are motivated to learn. No matter how difficult the subject is, or how overwhelming the school requirements are, as long as there is motivation, encouragement, and support from the teacher and the school, the students will be driven to learn and perform well in the class. Hence, the learning goals are achieved because effective teaching is exercised.

 

Reference:

Curriculum as Practice (Audio clip) URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OU9xUjC-Zk

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My Thoughts on Principles of Teaching

I’m grateful for the learnings that I gained in this course, it has broadened my perspective in teaching and made me understood why teachers  behave in certain ways, including myself. It also helped me to know myself better as an educator, in terms of my teaching perspective, teaching styles, and teaching strategies. It made me realize that learning should never stop and the aspiration to improve yourself more, as an educator, should always be nurtured for the benefit of your students. Teaching is more than just a job or a career, for me, teaching is a passion. A passion wherein despite the many challenges and hardships, you’re still willing to pursue it because you gain fulfillment when you see your students learn and build lasting relationships with them.

Teachers assume a variety of roles to support their students and the school as well.  But for me, a teacher should, first and foremost, be a role model to her students. She must be a good example of how a true leader should be. She must be a game changer, someone who initiates innovation, in her teaching methods and strategies. Aside from being a source of knowledge, wisdom must also be seen in her in everything that she say or do. She is not perfect and her imperfections should be enough reasons for her to stay humble and meek, and never arrogant. The teacher is the student’s parent in school, which is why she must treat them as her own children, regardless of their age. She must treat them with genuine care and concern. If they need to be disciplined, she must do it in a loving and gentle way. If they need counseling, she must be available for them and always willing to listen. She must be their number one encourager, motivator, and supporter. And lastly to some students, the teacher is their confidant and friend because they trust and believe in her. I always say that years after they left school, the students might forget the lessons they learned in class, but they will never forget the teacher who has shown them genuine care and concern.

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TO FEAR OR NOT TO FEAR

  • Recall the different approaches that you, as a student, used to prepare for your tests, exams or other assessment tasks.  What factors influenced how you chose to prepare for an upcoming assessment?
  • As a student, what kind of assessment did you prefer to take?  What types of assessment were/are threatening for you?  Why?
  • As a teacher (if you are), what kinds of assessment do you prefer to give?  Why?
  • What kinds of test do you perceive to be threatening to your students?  What are your thoughts now about this situation? 

Schooling has always been a challenging task for me. I took it seriously even as a child.  Competition was stiff. School activities were demanding and overwhelming. Assignments, quizzes, exams, projects, etc. were all part of our regular routine. I had to develop my own study habits and strategies in order to cope up.  I learned how to take down notes during the discussion, then rewrite and summarize everything on a paper, and this will now serve as my reviewer for the exam.  I find it easier to remember the lesson when I am writing it down.  I must admit that one of the reasons why I was reviewing well was not only to get a high grade on the exam, but also to keep up with the competition because I know that by doing so, I will make my parents happy.

Just like any other students, I fear assessments.  I feel like my whole actuality is being judged (which in a way is true) based on how high or low my score would get. Maybe it is not the lowest score that I am afraid of, but the negative impression and unfounded perception that will be taken against me once I got a low score. 😦

Among the many types of assessment, graded recitation is what I fear the most when I was younger. Maybe because of the tension that it brings me and the embarrassment it creates when a wrong answer was given.  Which is why, back then, I would rather take a written quiz/exam than be called for a  graded recitation.

Now that I am already a teacher and taking up this course in teaching, my view about assessments have radically changed.  Now, I am more aware of  the importance, purpose, and benefits of assessment.  I realized that it is not something to be feared about.  It is something that is to be taken objectively because it will benefit both the student and the teacher.

As much as I can, I try to explain to my students the importance of these assessment activities and why we should be accustomed to them in class.  These include quizzes/exams (for me to gauge their learning and to identify the areas that require further explanation), essays (to measure their level of comprehension of the topic), graded recitations (to encourage participation), and many more.

But the most appealing assessment for me is the students’ business plan presentation. This activity serves as their final requirement to pass the subject, which is why for them, this assessment is the most threatening. I am amazed how all levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains are being activated in this one activity.  I also appreciate how they turn their creativity into future business ventures.

Certainly, assessment activities take a lot of time and effort for both teachers and students. But the reward of witnessing the transformation of our students as an outcome of the learning that they have acquired outweighs all the hardships.

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DISTANCE IS NOT A HINDRANCE

What lessons did I learn from Assignment 2?  

How would I like to have a similar experience in the future?
     Will I want to do this again?  
     Shall I do something like it in a class that I (shall) teach?

When I saw the title “Collaborative Assignment” for Assignment 2, so many questions popped into my mind like, “Would that be possible for an online class like ours? How?”, “Are we supposed to meet each other in person?”

But beyond those questions, the dilemma that I had when Assignment 2 was announced was the two scheduled trainings in our head office that I was required to attend to for two weeks, amidst the final exams and students’ business plan presentations! Waaahhh! 😦

Needless to say, an extremely exhausting schedule is awaiting ahead of me, and it’s beginning to engulf the remaining sanity I have inside! (Haha! 🙂 )

So I had to breathe in, breathe out to stay focused.  First things first!  I had to plan my next move so that no task would be left unattended.  The first to accomplish were the students’ final exams and business plan presentations since these tasks were the firsts to become due. 

Next in the list, Training 1.  Right after the last business plan group presenter, I had to run home quickly  to pack my things up for a 3-day training.  The training itself was too exhausting because of the pressure  to pass the qualifying exam on the last training day. 

When Training 1 is over, it’s time to work on the students’ grades, which by the way is due the day after Training 1 ends!  So, how’s that?! Indeed, when it rains, it pours! (Haha! ).. So after two more sleepless nights,  grades are finally done! 

Time to study now Module 3 and answer Quiz 2 before I head again to another training in a couple of days.  After preparing the lessons for my subjects for the upcoming semester, I had to again pack my things up and prepare myself for a 5-day training session.  I brought my laptop with me because I plan to check out the tasks for the group project after the session, but to no avail, because there were some internet connection problems in our accommodation room. 

I was only able to check on the group tasks when I went back home from Training 2, and my assumption was right.  The tasks for the group project is up and about.  The group assignments were already given and my own groupmates were by this time discussing about the tasks.  In fact, they have started working on the Table of Specifications (TOS), and almost done, I think, when I came into the picture.  And here I am, still trying to figure out where and how to start! L  I had to email them and apologize for my inactiveness the entire first week. They were kind enough to accommodate me and still welcome me in the group.

I started reading first the whole of Module 4 because I know that I cannot contribute anything if I don’t have any knowledge about the topic.  Little by little, the things that they were talking about such as, TOS and Peer and Self Assessment, were making sense to me now.  Since they were done with the TOS, I started working on the assessment tools because that was the needed task at that time.  When  the assessment tools were done, I started working on the TOS because I know that I won’t be able to understand it well unless I experience doing it by myself.  True enough, after doing my TOS, I appreciate its importance in designing assessment tools for the students.  I realized that I should have tried doing the TOS first before I drafted the Modified True or False questions for our assessment tools.  On the other hand, doing that might delay the output of the entire group and that’s the last thing that I would want to happen.  I am blessed to have group members who were very initiative and because of that, we were able to submit on time.

As the objective for Assignment 2 says, “Learn with your peers while doing the assignment.”  Indeed, I learned a lot from them and with them, and it made me realize so many things when it comes to teamwork.  I learned  that distance is not a hindrance.  You can still cooperate with your team members, whether you see each other physically or not.  The key to a successful group activity is communication because without it, there would be no collaboration of ideas and no integration of insights, which are necessary to produce a valuable output.  I recognized that, due to some reasons, I failed to communicate and collaborate with my team members, and as a result, I was not able to contribute much to the group.  I knew that if I had a lot more time when we were doing this activity, I would be able to learn more about  the topic and eventually share more insights to the group, learn from their insights as well, and collaborate with them in a timely manner.  This experience is worth sharing to my students so that they would also learn the way I learned from it.

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OF STARS AND SCORES

Based on your personal experience, are scores able to effectively inform both teachers and students about learning progress in class?  Do teachers and students share common interpretations of scores? Or has it been a more common case that scores are mere numbers that are processed to fill in report cards?  

One afternoon, my 5-year old niece came home from school.  She was shouting and calling everyone in the house while running towards the main door.  She was extremely happy while showing her hands and arms to everyone who approaches her.  She was boasting all of her eight stars to all of us, 1 on each hand and 3 on each arm!  When we asked her where did she get all of those stars, she enthusiastically says, “From my teacher! I got perfect scores!”  And it’s true, she showed us her workbook and she got all the items perfectly! J  She was very motivated to come to school the next day and before she left, she promised to bring home more and more stars! 🙂

I admire my niece’s enthusiasm for school, for learning.  Perfect scores and getting stars are her motivation, not even a new toy.  She feels sad if her score is not high or if she only gets to bring home one star.  In her young mind, she already understood the importance of learning.  She keeps on asking questions if something is not clear to her. Her workbook displays her learning progress in school.  Some scores were not high, some were almost perfect, while some were excellent.  We were not there in school, but we can see the development in her learning by browsing at her workbook, and observing her transformation from the very first day she went to school up until today.

We all grew up receiving scores and grades in our report cards that show how well we performed in school.  Sometimes we agree with the grades that were given to us, sometimes we don’t.  I believe that we sometimes disagree not because we know that we deserve a better/higher grade, but because we know in our hearts that we worked hard on the subject and we understood the lesson well.  Like for instance, I remember a college professor who only gives a grade of 3.0 and 5.0.  If you will pass his subject, you will get a 3.0, if you fail, you will get a 5.0.  To make things worse, each subject under him is equivalent to 6 units. So you can already anticipate the GWA that a student can get with that kind of grading policy.  So that means, even if the student works hard to study the lesson and answers all the exam perfectly, he will only get 3.0, which is the highest grade from that professor.  As a result, the student will not be motivated to work harder to get a higher grade because there’s no way he would be given a grade that is higher than 3.0.

Grading is somehow parallel to accounting and to programming.  Garbage in, garbage out.  An accountant who made a wrong journal entry or made a wrong analysis of the business transaction, will generate an incorrect report which, if presented to the decision makers, would suggest a wrong decision for the company. A programmer who gives the computer a wrong command, will get a wrong output, worst, will produce a program that will not function well.  In the same manner, a teacher who gives a student a grade that was not properly administered and calculated will create an inaccurate evaluation about the student’s learning, development and performance, which will result to a wrong impression and wrong perception on the student.

Yes, grades are just numbers.  But these numbers can create a huge impact in the lives of our students.  Grades can motivate them, just like the story of my 5-year old niece,  or demotivate them, just like the case of the college student.  Grades, in a way, dictate the future steps of our students. That is why it is very important that the grades that they will be receiving from us are grades that were properly administered, carefully calculated, and justly/rightfully evaluated. Grades that fairly and accurately present the student’s learning progress and overall class performance under our supervision.

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ALIGNMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF LEARNING

What purpose(s) did the quiz and the assignment (separately) serve me?

  • What was/were  the teacher’s goal/s for each task?
    Is Quiz 1 in any way related to Assignment 1? 
  • What were my personal goals for doing the tasks?
    Did my goals change during the process of doing them?
  • Taking these tasks into consideration, is there an apparent (mis)alignment in terms of what the teacher, the course, and I intend?  How so?

I personally like the subject Entrepreneurship and Business Planning.  I like studying and teaching the concepts behind it and putting all of those concepts into application by producing a business plan at the end of the semester.  I am always looking forward to listen to my students’ business plan presentation.  It makes me excited to see their creativity transformed into future entrepreneurial ventures.

For our Assignment 1, we were asked to select a lesson that we would like to teach and assess at the same time. Apparently, Entrepreneurship and Business Planning was the first subject to enter my mind.  I selected Financial Ratio Analysis, a topic in that subject that teaches the students to read, understand, and interpret financial statements.

As I define the three learning objectives relevant to the lesson, I was surprised to find out that all six levels of Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy are being activated for this lesson, namely: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.  The learning objectives are aligned with the desired level of learning outcomes.

The various activities that I proposed include introduction of the topic, instructional input, problem solving exercises, quiz, and project.  All of these assessment tools are designed to see which purposes of assessments are being addressed and which learning objectives are being met.

The activities for Quiz 1 and Assignment 1 are almost the same, we were asked to identify the level of cognition that is facilitated by each activity/task.  It is clear that our teacher’s goal is to help us identify, understand, analyze, and apply the various levels of cognition and be able to differentiate one from the other.  I can say that the tasks demanded by Quiz 1 and Assignment 1 were in alignment with our teacher’s learning objectives.  Moreover, the learning objectives that were set for us were also in alignment with the learning outcomes that were expected of us to deliver.

After realizing the importance of alignment among these components, I became more mindful of the activities that I will be giving to my students before, during, and after every lesson.  I need to make sure that the learning objectives are aligned with the desired levels of cognition; the desired levels of cognition align with the desired learning outcomes; and appropriate assessment activity would be used to measure the desired learning outcomes.  By doing this, the students would be given an efficient and effective learning experience.

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QUIZ 1 AFTERMATH

  • Unlimited attempts allowed.
  • Review button reveals correct answers.

Were these features intentional or accidental? Did I see these as opportunities for cheating?  How did I respond psychologically?  

How will intentionally incorporating these features in the quiz setup productively serve student interest, if at all?  Can the gains, if any, outweigh the disadvantages?

Is Quiz 1 a lesson in itself?  (If it is, what did I learn?)

 

“Oh, shucks! I was deceived!”

That was exactly my initial reaction after reading these questions from our teacher.  It took a while before I was able to recover from that state of astonishment/confusion, or should I say, embarrassment 😦 .  I really felt bad after knowing that the number of attempts and the review button had been just a trap. And I fell into that trap?!! 😦  I felt ashamed because I have been discouraging my students to commit cheating, yet I cheated on my first online quiz! Shame on me! Waaahhh!! How can that be? 😦

So many questions started to influx my bewildered mind: How can that be a form of cheating when it was clearly stated that it was allowed?  Did I mean to cheat?  Am I aware that I was actually cheating while reviewing the test questionnaires? Why did I fall in that trap?  Did I miss anything that gives a hint that there was a trap incorporated on Quiz 1?

To clear up my mind (and my conscience) of the debris left by Quiz 1, I made a self-reflection.  I checked my heart and my motives while I was answering Quiz 1.  As I look back, I realized that there was no intention on my part to take advantage of the answer keys.  In fact, I barely  notice them.  I  just become aware of them after several attempts.  To my mind, the answer keys were given to legitimately review us so that we would score better on the next attempt.  I honestly think that the unlimited number of attempts is an opportunity  for us to outdo our previous performance and to encourage us to get a perfect score, which was my goal.  I actually thought that looking at the notes and opening the links  are ways of cheating.  That’s why I never opened any link or read any lecture while taking the quiz, or even after taking the quiz, because to my mind, I already saw the questions, and looking for the answers on my notes/lectures are cheating for me.

I must agree, Quiz 1 is a lesson in itself.  It was even an eye opener.  In life, you don’t believe everything that you saw as nice and harm-free.  You have to be more careful, not easily trusting, because you might end up falling into a trap.

As with the guilt and shame, I shoved them away.  I asked forgiveness and moved on. At the end of the day, it is God who knows and sees our true motives and intentions.

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