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My pedagogical goals and objectives

Reflection on my Current Teaching Practices

Beginner’s Questionnaire

Overall result 13 which pretty much puts me in the middle of the continuum of 5-20.  Summing up my result is that I prefer to use small group discussions to maintain interest in the material and covering the content.  Roles is a split between Instruction and students actively creating their own knowledge.  For assessments, while they are used for testing student’s knowledge and application, I see them as more important as a learning tool for students (provided they earn enough to pass the course of course).  I like to think of my assessments to be straightforward enough to get 40% (minimum mark to pass a course is 50% overall, but for each assessment there is a minimum mark of 40% as well).

POT Getting Started Chart

Currently I use Moodle to support all of my courses.  I use it more as a repository of notes, activities, interesting articles, exercises and assessments.  I also use a number of forums to encourage discussion for various parts of the course (generally one for general course discussion and one for each assignment).   This year my class sizes have been from 16 to 30 students.

While I encourage students to use the forum, most don’t – preferring to converse face to face or via email.  I do sometimes upload these discussions to the appropriate forums.  There is also a news forum to make course announcements to students.  Another issue with using the forums is that if an email is sent (which I set as the default), some students don’t get the
email because it goes to an unused account (their student email address by default) even though students are encouraged to change the address to one they use (as part of the IT challenge week activities).

Using the beginner’s questionnaire as a guide, I have placed myself in the combination of lecture and discussion work.  My style tends to be to do a bit of a lecture and then drop into small group discussion and then bring it back to a full group discussion.  My preference is to organise my courses into units because that is more logical to me.  However, if have inherited one of my courses from another tutor and I also work with an existing tutor on this course so I have stuck with the existing format by using weeks which match to the course outline.  I teach courses for 2 different area (commerce and IT).  Commerce tutors tend to use the week by week Moodle format so I am also inclined to keep that format at present so the students are familiar with the structure.  The commerce courses tend to be more prescriptive for assessment (the majority of them have an exam worth at least 50% of the grade), whereas the IT courses tend to have more practical individual or group assessments and possible a short test to cover the theory.

Putting into Action

ITC501:  Information Technology in Context

Prescribed learning outcome of

  • Discuss basic business principles and practices.

Purpose (from course outline)

“In order to understand this wide ‘context’ in which IT plays an important role, we also need to understand elements of the ‘context’ itself. One context in which IT has a large part to play is in business, particularly with the rise of e-commerce and consequently we need to look at, and understand, various business activities and how IT is used to support them.

Much of this course is concerned with encouraging you to think and reflect on how and why you might use information technology, how and why it has been used before and what you need to know to use it effectively”

Course/Student background for the business principles learning outcome

  • This is a first year compulsory Bachelor of Information Technology paper.
  • A large percentage of students are school leavers with minimal knowledge about how business works which causes problems in a number of other papers.

Technology Availability and Usability (Analysis from page 53 of Ko and Rossen book)

  • Students have a mixed background – age, experience
  • Students are issued with an institute laptop containing required software for the course.
  • Laptops have wireless Internet access through most of the campus on an IT tutor/student dedicated network providing excellent access and downloading capabilities.
  • Laptops are an integral part of all courses and as such students are expected to use them during class time.  This enables Internet searches to be conducted during class time as well as the use of Google docs etc.
  • The Institute uses Moodle as its course management software but this has its own issues (particularly with access to the course at the beginning of the semester with students whose enrolment is not completed).
  • There is basic support provided on how to use Moodle but most staff have to work things out themselves to make fuller use of it.

Reflection on how I currently use Moodle

  • I use a variety of structures when using Moodle
  • This depends on
    • The structure of the course used previously if I am teaching the course for the first time
    • Whether I am teaching the course by myself, in conjunction with other tutors who are doing different parts of the course, or if I am teaching the same course component with another tutor
    • Which degree the course belongs to (Commerce or IT)
    • How the students generally use the course site
  • My preference is to use a topic based format

Objectives (can be demonstrated)

  • Describe the different documents used within the Purchases and disbursements system
  • Understand business terminology used within the business environment
  • Compare and contrast sole trader, partnership and limited liability company business structures


Helpful to remind myself to use small group discussions to create interest in the material and to help cover the content.

Getting Started Chart

Continue using Moodle’s topic format but to look at including the use of Diigo to bookmark useful resources (IRD resources, business.govt.nz, The Warehouse careers area) to save students having to find the resources themselves, google docs to share small group thoughts.

Seven Principles

Good Practice Encourages Contacts Between Students and Faculty

  •  use of group Google docs for out of class activities so students can check if on the right track, share ideas sooner than next class etc

Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

  • Google docs to share ideas out of class and to carry on with in class activities

Good Practice Uses Active Learning Techniques

  • Use a blog to reflect on their learning
  • Use Diigo to document and share their findings

Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback

  • Use Moodle to provide online quizzes to enable students to check their understanding

Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task

  • Google docs to share ideas out of class and to carry on with in class activities
  • Use Diigo to document and share their findings – for example give students a web search out of class activity for next class

Good Practice Communicates High Expectations

  • Not sure about this one at the moment

Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

  • Easy access to VARK learning styles test to identify learning style (and more importantly to give ideas for how to study for those learning styles).
  • Class discussion area of useful resources found – so they can share with students.  But I don’t think Moodle is the right place as it is too difficult to access easily after students have finished their course – maybe on a Google site which I create for that purpose so students have 1 place to find everything and to share things (bit of this happened on Google+ a while ago but it is effectively lost now).

Reflection on how I have used technology to complete this task

  • Using Word to create full reflection of what I am doing currently and how I could use new ideas
  • Deciding to use Diigo to capture examples of how I am currently using Moodle – I started by printing my web pages to pdf (as I usually do) but then I decided that was really a waste as I now had Diigo.  So I experimented with Diigo – capturing screen shots, highlighting websites, learning about adding suitable tags, discovering that if you have an image Diigo also captures the website url as well and than deleting this url deletes the images!
  • Discovering that pasting from Word to this blog required lots of tidying up – particularly the numbering (which I deleted) and the bullet points along with the line endings.

4 Responses

  1. Just a quick tip, if you didn’t know (maybe something more substantial later): In the post screen, if you have the “Kitchen Sink” option open (Shift+Alt+Z), you can use “Post as Plain Text” to put the text in unformatted and then directly format in WordPress. Posting directly from Word is a mess html-speaking (and even the post as Word feature isn’t great). I tend to write everything up in Notepad and do final polish in the edit post screen.

  2. […] Week 3: Pedagogy and Course Design […]

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