Welcome to my Blog for FET 5601

Here is my blog for FET 5601. I will try to keep all of my Moodle postings here as well as keep a track of my study as I progress through this course.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Wrap of Bruce's Discussion 2

Hi Bruce,
Here is my wrap of your module on tolerance.

You have asked your students to study/analyze an artifact "audio recordings and text material about Bern, a German man of Jewish decent who was interned in Australia during World War 2". By allowing the students to hear a recording as apposed to just reading a text or indeed viewing picture, you are giving them a richer resource to which they can connect and empathize with.

This is a great starting point for the constructivist learning approach. I appreciate that you have struggled to find an appropriate assessment model. I will be most interested to read what you plan to get the students to produce for their assessment.

I really liked your analogy for the instructional design approach that it is like the threads of a screw.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Self Assessment

Discussion activity 3, Evaluation

Evaluation Discussion for JPEG Radio Podcasts

When I started reading the course materials, the sentence that jumped out at me was when Achtemeier (2007) stated, “Is there a difference between ‘assessment’ and ‘evaluation’?” It made me think about the difference between the two. Is there a distinct difference?

According to my MacBook Leopard inbuilt dictionary, assessment is defined as “The evaluation or estimation of the nature, quality, or ability of someone or something”. Evaluation is defined as to “Form an idea of the amount, number, or value of, to assess”. It was interesting to see that the word “assess” was found in the evaluation definition and the word “evaluation” was found in the assessment definition. Are they really interchangeable?

Achtemeier (2007) said “Much of the literature in the broad area of assessment and evaluation tends to use the words "assessment" and "evaluation" interchangeably.” He went on further to say that he would refer to evaluation for the program and assessment for the student learning. So that’s how I will to think of the two in this review as well.

Having said that, my first thoughts here were all directed towards the form of the program evaluation. In teaching I tend focus more on assessment. I often don’t give evaluation as much attention as it deserves. At my present school the teachers are expected to evaluate each UOI or Unit of Inquiry. The students are also expected to evaluate each unit on completion.

Through my reading, I have become more aware of the different forms of evaluations that could be used in my classroom. I must admit that up until this point, I have mostly asked students to write reflections. This can become quite monotonous for the student, which I believe, can render the process somewhat ineffective. I am now feeling the need to extend my evaluation strategies. I was most interested in constructivist approaches to evaluation. I like to involve students in the process as the stakeholders. This has its drawbacks as children often lack a sense of balance and will focus on what they are good at and expect to be only assessed for that. It has been stated by Achtemeier (2007), Kickbusch (1996) and Reis & Renzulli (1991) as cited by Nowak and Plucker (1999) that assessment must be a must be on-going and diagnostic part of a constructivist learning program.

After a little searching, I have found some different forms of course evaluation that can be used within a constructivist-learning model. It has been suggested by Regina Public Schools and Saskatchewan Learning (2004) that there are many forms of student created evaluation such as:

A Closing Circle – a quick circle around the room in which each student has to share something learned that has a real application.

Exit Cards – a five-minute time for students to respond to a question posed by the teacher. The card is filled in and put into a designated container to be later read by the teacher.

Learning Logs – This is not assessed but serves the purpose to organize thoughts.

Reflective Journals – may be in the form of a blog or diary

Rubrics – used to facilitate peer assessment. The rubric could be teacher or student generated.

Write a letter – students can write a letter to themselves explaining what they have learned.

In regards to the assessment of student work, Nowak and Plucker (1999) identified four ways to better align learning and assessment. Those were;

Suggestion One: Stress that students are professionals in the field and assess them as if you were their supervisor.

Suggestion Two: If instruction is problem-based, assessment should be similarly structured.

Suggestion Three: Provide reasonable guidelines regarding your expectations for the students.

Suggestion Four: Don’t hold off on assessment until the end of the activity or unit; model real-world behavior, in which ongoing assessment occurs.

This aligns well with the IBO’s direction in assessment procedures. Teachers are encouraged to provide regular feedback to students and to use a variety of assessment forms. At my school we must record our assessment and evaluation. Like Trochim (2006) has defined, the most important basic distinction in evaluation types is that between formative and summative evaluation.

Currently my most used assessment types are:

Reflective Journals (Formative or Summative)
Rubrics (Summative)
Tests (Summative)
Presentations (Summative)
Mind Maps or Concept Maps (Formative or Summative)
Criteria Checklists (Formative)

For the purpose of assessing the students in this project they will make reflective journals via their blogs. Make a mind map about their job description and work. The criteria checklists will include skills (specific to the job to produce a podcast in the radio company), demonstrative knowledge about how to work in that job and attitudes displayed when working on the job. Input for the content of this checklist will be gathered from the students and other teachers involved in the project. The checklist will include the following:

Can write a descriptive paragraph about the job description
Able to work in accordance to the job description (anecdotal records)
Can correctly identify the skills needed to carry out tasks within the job
Demonstrates a positive attitude and enthusiasm to complete the tasks given
Understands how to seek help as difficulties arise
Understands the company mission and can talk about their personal contribution

These points have been taken from the original inquiry:

1. Role and responsibilities in an organizational structure
2. The relationship between the different departments of a company
3. What makes an organization effective?

The evaluation of the project will be gathered by making surveys of the school community about the podcasts. The students will write a letter to themselves describing what they have learned from their work in this project. These letters will be published on the class blogs and all students will be encouraged to comment on their peers’ posts. The students will also be required to write a reflection in the form of the ‘choose – act – reflect’ cycle. This will focus on the job that the student had to do in the class company.


Kickbusch, K 1996, Teaching for Understanding: Educating Students for Performance [online], Available from: [Accessed: 4/5/08].

Nowak, J and Plucker, J 1999, Do as I Say, Not as I Do? [online], Available from: [Accessed: 4/5/08].

Regina Public Schools and Saskatchewan Learning 2004, Constructivism - Knowledge Building in the Secondary Classroom [online], Available from: [Accessed: 4/5/08].

Trochim, W 2006, Introduction to Evaluation [online], Available from: [Accessed: 6/5/08].

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Response to Jan's Wrap

Hi Jan,

Thank you for your review/wrap of my post. I have been a little out of touch as I lead a workshop recently and it took up all my time to get it ready. I lead a workshop about The Digital Divide between teachers and students for Heads and Coordinators from other Private schools here in Jakarta. It went well except there was no working Internet connection and my main focus was to teach how to set up a blog! The tech tried to configure my laptop but it didn't work. My laptop ended up having different proxys put on it and as a result I had to spend many frustrating hours after the workshop trying to find them and erase the codes. Ahhhhhhh - that's the last time I let anyone mess with my computer. To add to that has been off line here in Indonesia because of the movie Fitna (have you seen it?). The Indonesian government actually blocked Blogger, Friendster and You Tube.

For this design project (and a lot of my other teaching), I prefer to let the students contribute to designing assessment criteria but I must emphasize that the teacher is still the leader. I like to take ideas from the students and my partner teacher whilst trying to strike a balance with the focus areas that must be assessed. I find that often the students give me great input but it is very necessary to step back and check if the assessment has a balance between knowledge, skills and attitudes.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My new fave webtool - VoiceThread

What do you think?

Monday, April 21, 2008

2nd Discussion Activity

Hi Everyone,
I am truly sorry for my late posting. It is taking me a while to get my head around this. I am experiencing a rather steep learning curve here.

I have chosen a section of my original project outline for this discussion. This was at Shirley's request and although it confused me at first I can see why "less is more".

I have decided to focus on the section in which the learners will create a series of podcasts for the school community. You might remember that my original plan was to create and run an online radio station with my Grade 3 class. The podcasting part will be done in small groups. The main concept in this unit of learning is to give the students a real experience of how a company works by the interaction of its employees within different departments. The production of the podcasts will provide a focus activity allowing collaborative participation.

I have found the readings in the course to be very stimulating and as a result I have had many educational discussions and arguments with my fellow colleagues at school. There is quite a division at my school over the whole objectivist verses constructivist approach to teaching and learning.

I often find myself overwhelmed by the complexity of the whole design process. Just as soon as I think that I understand, I read some more and find myself right back at the beginning.

Thinking about the design elements of this project I can see where the Elaboration Theory fits in well with the flow of the sequence of activities. Reigeluth (2003) states that there are seven major strategy components. I have partnered them here with the corresponding learning activity:
1. Elaborative sequence (making a simple podcast first before making a more elaborate one)
2. Learning prerequisite sequences (learning the skills required for the job – editors learning the editing symbols, writers learning the script writing, advertisers earning to produce a jingle or track editors learning to edit a timeline
3. Summary (Learning to step back a see it as a whole. Keeping a journal of the learning process. The students will use their own blogs and the JPEG Blog for this)
4. Synthesis (learning to combine radio show elements such as music and voice and then making it flow into one podcast)
5. Analogies (comparing the parts of a podcast)
6. Cognitive strategies (Learning skills required such as cultivating a ‘radio voice’. Learning to work according to the job requirement)
7. Learner control (Making decisions within a group and as a company about the podcasts – their design, content and delivery.

The learners will have to produce a series of podcasts. Each of the seven strategies will be integrated into this activity. The seventh strategy will be given the most emphasis as the students will not only be required to produce a series of collaboratively made podcasts but also have control over the design, content and delivery of those podcasts.

I believe that this unit is very flexible in that the work and skills required to produce these podcasts will differ from student to student according to the task. For example, the skills to edit a text document are very different to the skills required to sing a jingle. This also caters to the different multiple intelligences within the class.

I was interested to read what a central role assessment plays in Instructional Design. I often struggle with assessment at my school as criterion based assessment is used for the end of semester report cards but that often doesn’t match with the learning outcomes of a unit of work. This is because I encourage a constructivist approach, which often results in a different product, that no longer fits that pre-determined criteria.

Siemens (2005) states that designers need to see learning as an activity without beginning or end. The podcasts will be a part of a learning cycle. As soon as one has been completed the class and the teacher will review it and a new podcast will be produced.

Using rubrics is encouraged at my school as a way of catering better to the constructivist approach. This allows a certain level of flexibility in that the teacher can make a rubric collaboratively with the students and that rubric can be made just prior to embarking on the activity. Isaacs (2007) states that there are three types of assessment; formative, summative and mixed. He said that summative assessment on which feedback is provided could be classed as mixed assessment.

By using a student designed rubric to assess the podcast, the student will get the benefit of understanding the criteria, estimating where they will fall and then receiving personalized written feedback which will be added to the rubric.

I most certainly agree that assessment needs to be given quickly, be individualized and be based on the performance not the student. I also agree that the assessment should be used to guide learners through roles and responsibilities that reflect real and relevant applications and contexts.
In regards to the assessment of the podcasts it will depend on the performance of the student. As this is a collaborative learning activity, the students will need to be given clear criteria based personal assessment requirements as well as group assessment requirements before they start making the podcasts to help maximize the end results. Each department; Management, Editors (language and track), Show Hosts and Announcers will have specific aims and objectives assigned accordingly. The ability to work collaboratively will be assessed through observation by the teacher, reflection writing and self assessment posted to their blogs.


Isaacs, G. (2001) Assessment for learning. Teaching and Educational Development Institute (TEDI), University of Queensland. Retrieved April 18th, 2008, from

Learning Theories Knowledgebase (2008, April). Elaboration Theory (Reigeluth) at Retrieved April 18th, 2008 from

Siemens, G. (2005). Learning development cycle: Bridging learning design and modern knowledge needs. Retrieved April 18th, 2008, from

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Living Their Lives Essentially Online

I watched this important documentary. The quote that made me LOL was from a father who said when trying to get his son's attention (his son is living in the same house) "I would be better to email my son that walk upstairs and try to talk to him". What will happen with this generation? In Indonesia where I am living there has been a lot of press lately about how Indonesia is ranked 7 in the world for consumption of online pornography. The scary part is that the majority of users are from grades 4 - 6 in Junior school! Here's the link to that important show

Elaboration Theory

SO what is that? It is putting the learning in a sequence that ranges from easy to more difficult. My son has just enrolled in his first eLearning program. He is in Grade 3 and I have just enrolled him in Mathletics. The units of work follow the process of Elaboration theory. The courses are available from K-12 and all learning has been ordered in three levels from easy to hardest. The great part about Mathletics is that my son has the flexibility to make his own way and can choose to attempt a course by competing a pre-test at the start of each section. Check it out http;//

Design and development: Constructivism and Objectivism

Which is which? What really is constructivism and what is Objectivism? When I look at the table below from the course readings I can see that both are very valid in my classroom but I often lean towards the constructivist approach. Why? I guess that I have learned that students prefer to invent. I think that it is easier to take the objectivist approach as the learning can be more closely controlled by the teacher. 

When learners are given the freedom to construct that doesn't mean that the teacher can just sit back and let it all happen. I believe that the facilitator needs to have a very clear understanding of the learning goals so that they can lead to learners or point them in the direction that the learning needs to take. 

In my teaching and learning context I see that objectivism is more suited to thematic learning in which the teacher controls the learning and the outcomes. The key factor is the use of a static sequence of learning tasks that need to be completed according to a range of pre-determined criterion referenced assessment. 

Constructivism is suited to inquiry learning which is learner centered and focuses on the student producing an artifact, experiencing a situated learning or learning in collaboration. It's not so much about what the students have learned, it's more about where the learning will go next. What will the learners' action be as a result of this learning? The IBO describes this as enabling the learner to develop "enduring understandings".

My Feedback on my Analysis

I received the feedback on my Project Outline for the JPEG Radio unit. Shirley has advised me to focus on a section so that I may better apply the ID analysis. Looking at my proposal I must agree that it is very large. It is my current teaching unit in Grade 3. I think that for this course I will focus on the Podcasting section. I will use this part as it clearly makes use of ICT and it involves all of the students to work collaboratively. I have been reading the Siemens (2005) article carefully and would like to share my thoughts.

How can I use Siemens’ approach in my context?

I have highlighted the quotes that resonate with my current teaching and learning:

“Learning is a process that can be created if only the instructional component is properly managed”

“Effective learning design is no longer a formulaic process. It’s a rich engagement of learners and their needs.”

Frand (2000) “We need to think in terms of transforming the educational experience so that it is meaningful to the information-age learner”.

Richard Restak (2003) discusses a core understanding of neuroscience: plasticity. “Plasticity refers to the brain’s capacity for change” (p. 7). Our brains are constantly changing, evolving, and reacting to transformations within our environment and the tools we use. New tools require more than adaptation on the part of the user; these tools rewire the brains of users.

“Designers no longer create only instruction sequences. They must create environments, networks, access to resources, and increase the capacity of learners to function and forage for their own knowledge.”

“Objectives are no longer the only starting point for learning design.” Wow! When I write my lesson plan for the week I must always take the objective as the starting point! I have struggled with that many times.

“In many types of learning, the task of the designer is to create the right environment for continued learning (i.e. design the ecology). Learners themselves will seek and acquire needed elements.” This rings true in the inquiry learning model.

Learner Centered – What does it mean?
Learner-centred design focuses on giving the learner the ability to decide what he/she feels is important and relevant. Yes! this is the kind of learner flexibility that I would like to give more focus to.

“Views of knowledge as comprising of “know what” (explicit) and “know how” (tacit) are being usurped with “know where”. “Know where” means developing the Capacity to know more, or what more can be learned. In my context this learning is described as “student initiated action”.

The four domains of learning as defined by Siemens (2005) are 
Accretion, Transmission, Acquisition and Emergence.
What I have found most interesting about these four are the following:
I have also included how I am able to do this in my current situation.

Accretion: Learning as a continual process
Designer’s Role: Create networks and learning environments
I am using blogs with both of my classes at school. The blog is used as a forum and a chance for students to publish their work. The students connect by being able to read each others work and comment on that work.

Transmission: Learning as courses
Designer’s Role: Create courses or workshops
This in my context would be the writing and updating of curriculum documents. There are set learning objectives that must be met for each grade level.

Acquisition: Learning as self-selected
Designer’s Role: Make resources available and accessible
I think that I enable this for my students to a certain extent by giving the students links to educational games online via the class blog and by allowing them to explore the use of widgets on their blogs. I give no formal assessment for the students work in these areas but I believe that there is a lot of learning happening there. Why do I believe this? It’s because it’s the games that keep the kids motivated to check out the class blog. They are always talking about those games amongst themselves too. There is a natural competitiveness that has grown in my class from the creative use of blog widgets to make their blogs dymnamic.

Emergence: Learning as cognition and reflection
Designer’s Role: Foster and encourage reflection
The role of reflection is clearly encouraged throughout the IBPYP. There are 8 student learner attributes (Caring, Open-minded, Balanced, Principled, Communicator, Risk-taker, Reflective and ) that must be encouraged throughout the teaching and learning process and these must be highlighted in student self assessment. I encourage my students to visit the blogs of other students and leave comments. We have also just recently started collaborating with the Grade 5 from Bethlehem College in New Zealand to further develop our skills of reflection. Our current activity is to make a slide show featuring our national anthem with pictures. This is to begin an exchange of cultural knowledge and promote international mindedness, which is a big theme in IB schools.


Frand, F. L., (2000). The Information-Age Mindset. Educause. Accessed on July 13/4/08

Restak, R. (2003). The new brain: How the Modern Age is Rewiring Your Brain. New York, NY, Rodale.

Siemens, G. (2005). Learning development cycle: Bridging learning design and modern knowledge needs. Accessed on 13/4/08

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Analysis

Analysis of Creating a Working Online Radio Company

This project is to create, form and run an Internet based online radio station by developing the necessary skills needed to run it. A further aim of this project is to cater to the needs of the school community by way of providing a series of podcasts for that community.

As a starting point I will refer to Clark (1995) who states that the analysis stage is an assessment of the systematic exploration, of the gap between what the learner knows and what needs to be learnt. Analysis of the `gap? by Daigre, Regina M. et al (2007) has been further defined as to determine the current state of skills, knowledge, and abilities of the learners and to identify the desired or necessary conditions for success. For this analysis it will be further broken down into `whom?, `what? and `when?.

Learner Needs (Whom)
The learners are all aged either 8 or 9 years old. They are all in Grade 3 and twenty out of the twenty-three students in the class are ESL learners. The remaining 3 students are native speakers of English. The students have had weekly computer lessons since Kindergarten and have made a couple of podcasts prior to this project as well as maintained a blog for 5 weeks.
The students reading age has been tested using the Waddington?s Reading Test and the class range is between 7 years to 11 years old. Cultural considerations are that the broadcasts will be in English with special segments in Indonesian. This will reflect the needs of the school community in which the language of instruction can be either English or Indonesian.
There is a school expectation that all learning be Bible based as this is a Christian school, however the teachers must be sensitive to the fact that there is 1 Buddhist, 2 Confucian?s and 4 Moslem students in the class of 23 children. All the students are highly motivated and will be involved in the design and implementation of all learning activities.
Instructional Goals (What)
In the cognitive domain of Blooms Taxonomy the analysis section recommends, ?Material needs to be separated into concepts so that its organizational structure may be understood.?

That rings very true when designing a unit of learning using the International Baccalaureate?s Unit of Inquiry planner. The learning aims are defined as a central idea and further supported by the key concepts. In this case the central idea is ?Effective communities are managed by responsible citizens?. The key concepts are function, form and responsibility.

The IBO (2007) encourages teachers to continually refer to the key concepts when designing learning activities for the students. All learning must support the continued developing understanding of these key concepts within a range of learning activities. The teacher must continually analyze the learning by asking ?Is it worth knowing?? or ?Does it develop enduring understandings??

The key concepts might be deconstructed into the following:

(Form) To learn how to build a company. What workers are needed and what are their job descriptions? To learn how an online radio podcast is made. What are the steps and who is involved?
(Function) To learn how to write a podcast. How to write creatively? How to make it interesting for the audience? How to read using a `radio? voice. To engage an expert, a primary resource to learn radio announcing skills.
(Responsibility) To learn how to cater to the audience?s needs. How do we know if we are successful? How to make the podcasts popular? Are our podcasts accessible for all? How do the different departments work together to produce a podcast?

Learning Outcomes (when)
Checking for understanding needs to be done on a continuous basis. The teacher will use a range of assessment strategies such as checklists, rubrics, anecdotal notes and audience feedback to measure the progress of the learning. At the completion of the unit the students will write a reflection of their learning process. A learning journal will be kept by all students, which will be published on the students? individual blogs. A special blog will be set up to record the process of the learning.

Clark, D 2007, Learning Domains or Bloom's Taxonomy [online], Available from: [Accessed: 05.04.08].

Clark, D 2006, Big Dog ISD Page [online], Available from: [Accessed: 05.04.08].

Daigre, Regina M. et al. 2007, Instructional analysis: Analyzing the learners. [online], Available from: [Accessed: 05.04.08].

International Baccalaureate Organization 2007, Making the PYP Happen, 2007 edition (copies may be downloaded from the IBO site by member schools only at

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Where to begin!

I am in a state of confusion. Every time I try to analyze my ID proposal I end up getting more and more confused. I guess that means that I need to read more. I am torn between Blooms and the IBO. I will try to combined the two.

My Students After School Lives

The main reason why my students can't ride a bike is that they have lessons after school until dark. They have no time to play! They also have lessons on the weekend as well. My son wanted to work on a project with his friend in Grade 3 and his friend said that "I only have from 3.30 until 4.00 on Thursdays as free time". Indeed when this child was having problems with his blog on Wednesday last week I SMSed his mum to suggest that he drop by my house so that I could help him post to his blog. She said "Jordaan has Kumon until 6pm and then after that another lesson with Mr. Steve (my neighbor) so Jordaan can spare 5 minutes between Kumon and Mr. Steve at my house because after seeing me he just has to walk next door! Wow I think these kids will have a crisis before they hit high school.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Instructional Design Competencies

I do start with content but only after my class has had a period of what we call 'front loading'. Front loading is the children's chance to explore the central idea which in my Radio company's UOI, is "Effective communities are managed by responsible citizens". Once the students have had a chance to make sense of this statement (we used our own school as the prime example of an organization) then we looked at the lines of inquiry which were:

• Roles & responsibilities in organisational structures.
• What makes the community effective?
• Resolving conflict in small communities.

To address this we brainstormed our company's name, mission statement, jobs and job descriptions for JPEG Radio.

We will further explore these inquiries when we visit a real radio company next week. We will even get to have some on air time.

So how effective will these experiences be? I must make continuous assessment or formative assessment. I will observe how my students cope with inquiring at the radio station, applying for a company job, learning how to do that job and how to work together to produce a series of broadcasts. My students will also write reflections about these experiences.

Sounds complicated? Not always. My class has one last UOI to do before the end of this school year. It's all about wants and needs. I have recently been made aware that about 90% (unbelievable but true!) of my Grade 3 class can't ride a two wheel bike yet! I'm thinking that maybe we will learn to ride a bike! Would you agree that knowing how to ride a bike would be considered as a child's basic need? Of course I will need to investigate further. I would like to integrate it into the sport program.

Hmm ... a Bike Trek would be fun to organize too.


What Flexible Learning means in my context.

What does flexible learning mean in my context?

Well, as I work using the inquiry cycle there is a fair amount of flexibility given that inquiry starts with what the students want to know. Not just with what the teacher wants the students to know! I have to explain here that it is Inquiry and not Enquiry. Inquiry means 'a request for information'. The IBO has coined the term UOI or Unit of Inquiry.

John Dewey's (1859-1952) philosophy states that education begins with the curiosity of the learner which is the most common beginning point of the inquiry cycle. Note that it is a cycle and not a procedure. That's very flexible in my opinion. I have included the inquiry cycle that I use with my classes for your reference.

I have been teaching using inquiry based learning for the past 5 years. The hardest part is getting used to 'letting go'. To facilitate a UOI the teacher must remain flexible as you need to give time for student inquiry. The way that we teach is of course not flexible to the point of no control but we cannot plan too far ahead as it is the students that drive the inquiry.

Inquiry Page Project 2007, Inquiry Page [online], Available from: [Accessed: 27.03.08].

Me the Mobile Learner

I must take a moment to reflect on how far I've come in this Masters program. When I first started I was printing out all of the readings and reading it off paper. Some courses meant piles as thick as telephone books were being printed. This year I purchased a Macbook Pro. Now I save all of my readings on the hard drive. I am able to read them when ever I want as I take my MacBook everywhere I go. Jakarta's communication systems are improving so I am often able to study online from Starbucks and Internet Cafes. I can also take my computer to the salon and catch up on my reading whilst having a creambath. Best of all, reading off the screen is starting to stay in my head. I feel that I am becoming more and more like a Digital Native everyday.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Inquiry Planning

Bruce asked me to elaborate on a post that I made about ID...

Thanks for your feedback. I must always plan in a team. That means that reflection is done together as well. To further illustrate I'll copy from the JPEG Radio planner. I've only just started it. The planner is made up of different sections:

1. What is our purpose?
To inquiry into the following:
Theme: How We Organize Ourselves
Central idea
An organization has many different departments that work together to achieve a common goal.

Summative assessment task(s):
What are the possible ways of assessing students’ understanding of the central idea? What evidence, including student-initiated actions, will we look for?
We will assess the students as they work through the UOI. They will need to complete a CV and portfolio for the company interview. These tasks will have an assessment rubric. Each worker will participate in the production of a series of radio broadcasts. Department updates will be posted on the blog. Heads of departments will be given author access to the blog.

2. What do we want to learn?
What are the key concepts to be emphasized within this inquiry?
Responsibility, function, connection, reflection and form

What lines of inquiry will define the scope of the inquiry into the central idea?
• Role and responsibilities in an organizational structure.
• What makes an organization effective
• The relationship between the different departments of a company

What teacher questions/provocations will drive these inquiries?

What will the mission statement of our company be?
What jobs and jobs descriptions are needed for our class company?
Who can we ask to help us learn about radio broadcasts?(primary resources)
How can we get our jobs done properly?
How must the company workers work together to make the radio shows?

3. How might we know what we have learned? (Assessment)
4. How best might we learn? (Experience related activities)
5. What resources need to be gathered?
What people, places, audio-visual materials, related literature, music, art, computer software, etc, will be available?
Using Garageband to edit the tracks and to host the podcasts. The blog will be used to host the show links. The class will go to visit Heartline Radio 100.6 FM in Jakarta (2nd April) to meet with the different radio departments and station manager. We will have time on air to discuss our class radio project and promote our radio blog. (Class parents pulled some strings to make this happen)

How will the classroom environment, local environment, and/or the community be used to facilitate the inquiry? The class will have different 'office areas' and parents will be encouraged to help with the different departments. Training for parents will be run by the class teachers. Our radio station will serve the school community and promote the school.

6. To what extent did we achieve our purpose? (Students and teachers must complete this section)

7. To what extent did we include the elements of the PYP?
(Key concepts, transdisciplinary skills, learner profile and/or attitudes.)
8. What student-initiated inquiries arose from the learning?
9. What student-initiated actions arose from the learning?

You can see that it is quite detailed and we've only just started to work on this. Of course not all teachers use so much ICT integration. That would depend on the individual.


A Response to Jan's Question

Hi Jan,
I've been teaching this class since early Aug 2006 which was the beginning of the academic year here. My students are Indonesian and for most of them English is their second language. I am the inquiry teacher (UOI - unit of inquiry) and English teacher. There is a class teacher who does Math and Indonesian language. We teach UOI together. Our class blog is

Last year in Grade 3, I made a company that created and sold gemstone jewelry. We would go to the Jakarta Gemstone markets to buy in bulk. We made a profit of US$500 with which we bought a computer for the classroom. By the end of the project, the kids were running the market days themselves. It was very successful but didn't really have much ICT integration except that we wrote the story of the inquiry and published it as a book using the brand new computer! (A parent printed the book for us)

I love inquiry learning! I try to make it as real and enduring as possible. It is so immediate and perfectly suited for Digital Natives. The hardest part is running around scoping out the primary resources.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

ELearnspace George Siemens

Elearning is the marriage of technology and education, and most often, the instructional designer's greatest role is that of "bridging" concepts between the two worlds.
ID is to serve the learning needs and success of students through effective presentation of content and fostering of interaction.
Personally, I think that these two statements are key statements. So many times I have witnessed the inclusion of ICT in education forced over the existing learning. In my own school we have digital portfolios but the context is merely digitalized paper-based work.

What I think Instructional Design is:

I’m sorry to be a bit of a late starter in this course. I have just finished the 3rd Quarter at my school and was involved in the Easter Celebration yesterday. Now I have a short break in which I intend to catch up.

What I think Instructional Design is:

Looking at the guiding statements I think that Instructional Design means a learning experience that is planned and tailor made to suit a class of students. I feel that it is what I do already as a teacher.

An example of this would be:

At my school we use the inquiry process. We have to make a plan for each Unit of Inquiry. During a school year we must complete 6 units, which focus on different subject areas. I am currently planning my next UOI (Unit of Inquiry) that is based on the theme “How We Organize Ourselves”. The 6 themes have been determined by the IBO. Every time I start a new theme, I must start with what I predict my final or summative assessment will focus on. As I am just starting a new UOI I'll use it as an example.

I am planning for my class to become a company – an Internet radio company. The assessment will be based around the students’ ability to work together to produce a series of broadcasts. My formative assessment will be partly based on checklists and partly anecdotal. As the educator I must lead the inquiry by determining what my students already know and design a series of experiences to lead them to what I need them to understand. The IBO encourages the use of Primary resources over Secondary so we will visit a local radio station to inquire about how the company is run.

Part of the learning process will be the formation of the company itself with students applying for a job by way of a formal application and interview. We have already chosen the name of JPEG Radio and you can see our blog at

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Thinking About Teaching

Hi Everyone,

I have read all of the posts with interest. The posts are quite diverse and this paper has sparked a lot of thought.

The points made in this paper that I can most identify with are:

Universities must maintain their core values that include research-based teaching.

Teaching does not invent its tools; it uses those invented by others.

Using technology in teaching doesn’t make it innovative unless the tool enables a richer experience.

Teachers must become reflective practitioners.

I teach in an IBO school, which uses the inquiry method central to all teaching and learning. That means that the students pursue their learning through investigation. Reflection and making connections are key components. We follow a simple cycle of Choose-Act-Reflect. The teacher is the facilitator not the expert, but we must make sure that the curriculum scope and sequence has been covered.

Both of my classes (Gr 3 and 5) integrate ICT across the curriculum through using keeping blogs, creating websites and maintaining offline digital portfolios. The challenge is to create digital artifacts and not just digitalize paper-based learning.

My experiences so far with my current Masters online (my most recent experience of 'higher learning') have been really similar to the inquiry model that I am using at my school. In the courses that I have done so far I have been encouraged to choose, use it/practice it with my students and continually reflect on my learning. I have already started a blog for this course and it is at


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Getting Started

Today I started reading the first reading for this course about teaching and learning at university level. I am keen to post my response as a Mind map so I will use Kidspiration. I have a concept map program in my Mac but I like Kidspiration better as it has lots of clip art.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Welcome to my Blog for FET 5601

Here is my blog for FET 5601. I will try to keep all of my Moodle postings here as well as keep a track of my study as I progress through this course.