Experiencing Free/Open Source Courses
When searching for free courses online, many of the ones that I found were just videos on YouTube. Courses were on a variety of topics from core subjects to hobbies. I could see just listening to these to gain knowledge in a certain subject area. Many universities Yale to local universities offer these courses.
I decided to log in to the fake student account that was provided to me by the lady that I interviewed through my field experience. The system that they use at Widefield School District is brainhoney.com. You can click on any of the classes. Each module is a chapter. When you open a module the first thing you will see is a lesson. You double click to open. The assignments, if it is a free response deal will be in a work file in the lesson. The students open this fill out the answers and submit it as an attachment. If it is a multiple choice assignment, then under the module folder will be another folder marked assignments. This is where they submit their attachments. If it is multiple-choice, noted by a purple question mark, then they hit start and begin. As I logged into the fake account that they used for their training, I explored the modules in English 9 since I teach language arts. Each module focuses on a different genre from writing to literature. The different modules are: fiction, nonfiction, literature focus: the novel, literature focus: the short story, poetry, drama, community research, study skills and reading strategies. Within each module writing is applied. It is aligned to the Colorado state standards.
To incorporate Blooms Taxonomy, students have varying levels of assignments to do. Sometimes they may have an assignment where they have to read a paragraph and answer multiple choice questions. Sometimes students have to write an essay or even a lab report all based off of their understanding of the material. Students use varying levels of understanding and analyzing when interpreting data and its meaning to write about it or understand questions about it as well. The online classroom is a mirror image for Blooms Taxonomy as it would be in a traditional classroom. The only thing we are removing is the teacher.
Collaborative learning is incorporated in a variety of ways. They have a tutoring center where students are welcome to come in and work on assignments with tutors as well as other students. They also hold workshops for very classes where students can come together and work on a common session. Incorporated into the lessons are virtual chat room discussions where students each get to post their opinion on a subject as well as comment on their fellow students’ opinions.
I found the course that I logged into to be very similar to the course that we are taking. Assignments are given, and the student must pace themselves as they work on them from module to module.