I hate that I’m so behind in the course, but here’s my week #3 blog post.

In your blog, discuss which theory/ies might be most applicable to your instruction and outline a specific activity/assignment/exercise that would facilitate learning according to that theory. Outline, design, or wireframe that activity in a way that makes sense to you so you will be able to design it more in depth when you have time. Post all of this in your blog.

I’ve been stressed, tired, and overworked (physically and cognitively) for weeks, so I’ve come to a decision: I’m not going to do exactly what this interview wants for the presentation. So, since I was using that as my focus for this class, things are a little complicated.

I am supposed to create an online tool that demostrates a database to distance learners. During the presentation, I’m supposed to demo this online tool. I don’t agree that that’s the best kind of thing to create for distance learners and I’m not convinced that this presentation is really a good way to assess someone’s teaching ability.

So. I’ve decided instead to turn it inside out and present on the processes, most of them covered in this course, I would go through to design a database demo (if needed) for distance learners.

I think that the general impulse is to see database demonstration as related to behaviorism; the students learn the process(es) that get results in a database and can use that database (until it changes interface, etc.). I am trying to think about how to create something that would instead relate to constructist theories so that the use of the particular database is relevant to learners. I would want them to understand the origial learning goals covering the features of WoS, but I would want them to understand whether (and thus when) WoS might be relevant (or not) to them/their work.

I think a better approach would be to create instructional materials or “interventions” as the Eberly Center calls them that relate to both an assignment or activity and WoS (or whatever database was appropriate to the discipline. I really like problem-based learning and think it could be used here to help students choose from a few different databases if given a choice (say between JSTOR, WoS, and Academic Search Premier). For WoS, if the problem involved pieces about impact of research or the use of an article, that would hopefully lead students to WoS over the other examples I mentioned.

After reading Cooperstein and Kocevar-Weidinger I think this isn’t easy or quick, but I think outlining the process this way in an interview would be a more meaningful demonstration of teaching/design. It would also hopefully suggest to the interviewers that there may be different types of instruction they could consider for distance learners.