What's The Big Idea
What's The Big Idea has been strategically placed as the first activity within this course to offer class participants opportunities to be introduced to the broad concepts for the key elements and purpose of a professional learning community (PLC). Reigeluth's elaboration theory impresses the importance of selecting and sequencing content to optimize learning. Teaching broader concepts and principles before the more detailed ones that elaborate on them for deeper-learning opportunities (Elaboration Theories: Reigeluth, 2015). This overarching understanding is paramount for subsequent modules/activities to build within and necessary for participants in developing schema. Furthermore, the artifact of learning that is developed through this activity will serve as a relevant, personal job aid which can be used within their professional role to represent what a PLC is within a professional setting.
Class participants will integrate research, videos, and documents to interpret the characteristics of a PLC. The student will design an icon or infographic that represents their understanding of what a PLC is. They will share their design through uploading it to the VoiceThread platform. It is here that powerful feedback can transpire in an asynchronous, conversational dialogue. Each member will be able to share their learning by commenting on their thread; others will have the opportunity to question, confirm, and suggest thought and/or ideas on the thread as well. The activity is outlined within the graphic organizer above.
Flexibility and diversity within this activity has been integrated through an extension activity that incorporates choices offered within the VoiceThread tool. Though students are not offered choice in the web 2.0 tool for presenting their artifact, they are provided autonomy for how they will create their artifact as well as how they would like to communicate within the VoiceThread tool. Respecting students access and comfort with various tools, autonomy of choice and expression are paramount for learning to occur within the participants' zone of proximal development.
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VoiceThread was chosen for the peer-review/critique session because of the flexibility in the format. It is conducive to expression within audio, video and text. Peers will have a variety of options to give feedback as well as understand others comments to them. The instructor will have the ability to draw over the artifacts to offer additional feedback. This platform encourages revisions from the feedback provided reducing plagarism. The final artifact, as it will be a job aid for the individual, will be personalized and relevant to their understanding and mental/visual image.