Mid-Semester Reflection

After reviewing my blog posts and discussion board posts, I’ve found that the theme throughout my posts is online classes. I’ve taken online courses throughout my undergraduate degree and decided to pursue my MLIS at Wayne State because I could take online classes. I prefer online classes to face to face classes because I am able to set my own pace and can complete my work when I have time.

One of my previous posts discussed why some students may not be as successful with online classes compared to face to face classes. I found it interesting how someone’s learning style can affect whether they complete a course or not and including both visual and verbal elements in an online course is important in aiding in the success of students. The author of the post stated that there was little research in what can affect a student’s success with online course; this would be an area that I would like to do more research in and is a topic I will keep in mind throughout the rest of this semester as well as through my degree.

Another post from earlier this semester looked at my personality through the Jung Typology test; this test suggested I have an ISTJ personality. I agree with the outcome of the test and found that I fit almost of the descriptions of the test. One of the characteristics of someone with an ISTJ personality is that they are introverted (16Personalities). I think this is one reason why I do well in online classes and prefer these to face to face courses. I participate far more in online courses compared to face to face classes I’ve taken and take a larger role in group projects and activities. I think this is because posting to a blog or discussion board allows for me to think out what I’m going to say and this gives me more confidence to speak up.

After looking at various blog posts and articles, I think I would enjoy teaching an online course. Before taking this class, I had interest in becoming a professor but had never given thought to instructing online classes. Enjoying taking online classes and having taken a lot myself, I think I would like being an online instructor. With more universities offering courses online and students becoming more interested in online classes, I think there will be a lot of opportunities for research and for professors to teach online. I will continue to follow articles and blog posts about online courses and teaching and believe this will be a continuing topic throughout my education at WSU.

16Personalities. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.16personalities.com/istj-personality


“In the News”

I’ve been following the Faculty Focus blog this semester and I recently read their posting “What We Can Learn from Unsuccessful Online Students”. This posting discussed why some students are not successful with online courses and what teachers can do to help these students to learn.

Online courses generally have a lower completion rate than face to face classes but little research has been done to look into why students don’t do as well (Lorenzetti, 2014). One study that was conducted took students from ages 20-49, who had withdrawn from an online class, most of whom had tried to take multiple online classes and were unsuccessful (Lorenzetti, 2014). The results from this study can be broken down into three areas, course issues, student issues, and suggested improvements (Lorenzetti, 2014). Course issues that students had include finding the subject boring, being auditory learners and the class being taught mostly through visual means, technical issues, and not liking the discussion or blog format. Student issues included problems with time management, issues outside of school like work or family, putting their face to face classes first, having problems with reading comprehension and needing additional time and help from the professor. Improvements that students though instructors could make were showing their expertise in the subject, not having the entire course be reading, and offering computer lab time with online class instructors for additional help.

I found it interesting that the post discussed how auditory learners can struggle with online classes if the professor does not provide lectures or videos. This relates to the different styles in which students learn, visual and aural, and how some students without one component can struggle (Maatta Smith). This is an important idea for professors to keep in mind when teaching an online course and should attempt to incorporate both visual and auditory components to increase the success of their students.

This post introduced some great ideas about the success of different students and online courses and also made a great point that more research needs to be done in this area. Additional studies would only help with understanding what students are looking for with online classes and how to improve their learning experience. This was only one small study and it makes me think about what other factors can also influence a student’s success with online classes. With more schools offering online courses and students wanting more subjects to be available online it is important that the online classes are just as informational as face to face courses.

Lorenzetti, J. (2013). What we can learn from unsuccessful online students. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/can-learn-unsuccessful-online-students/

Maataa Smith, S. Learning and teaching [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://blackboard.wayne.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4716600-dt-content-rid-4409772_2/courses/LIS_7880_1409_001/Teaching%20and%20Learning.pdf

Evaluation of Online Instruction

The online instructional video that I viewed was about primary and secondary sources. I found this video on the Merlot website and it was created by Jen Klaudinyi. The audience for this tutorial is high school students and first year freshman. This is not explicitly stated but the video begins asking if you’ve had an assignment that asks for primary and secondary sources, inferring the audience is students. A lot of high school students as well as first year college students will begin to have assignments that ask for both primary and secondary sources and may not know or understand what the difference is. This video breaks down the difference between the two and gives great examples that students can relate to.

The goal for the tutorial is to learn the difference between primary and secondary sources and learn the characteristics of both. The objective is that the viewer will be able to know how and when to use both types of resources. The goals and objectives are stated at the beginning of the video and are appropriate for the target audience.

The tutorial is very easy to navigate with buttons at the bottom that allow you to move forward and backward through the video. It is also structured and organized clearly and uses real life situations that help explain the topic. Both visual and audio is used which accommodate visual and aural learners. The tutorial also has buttons that you click on to move forward within the video. There is also buttons to click to reveal information, quizzes and an exercise that incorporates active learning into the video. There are some elements of cognitive learning theory because active learning is a main component of this tutorial.

Towards the end of the video there is a matching quiz that gives immediate feedback to the learner. This shows what viewers have learned from the tutorial and that the video is successful in reaching its goals and objectives. The video followed good visual principles. The slides were not cluttered with information and only provided the important information. The text was easy to see, however contrast of background colors and text could have been used more to make the text stand out. The tutorial did utilize alignment of text and pictures to group information together.

The tutorial was successful in achieving its objectives. The information was displayed in an appropriate manner for the target audience and utilized active learning to have viewers participate in the tutorial as well as learn more about the topic.

Klaudinyi, J. (2010). Primary and secondary sources . Retrieved from http://www.wou.edu/provost/library/clip/tutorials/prim_sec.htm

Learning Styles & Personality Type Profile

After taking a learning style quiz, I found that I am a moderately reflective and verbal learner and am balanced between sequential and global, and intuitive and sensing. I agree that I am reflective learner because I do need to take time to think about what I have learned and I do prefer to work alone (Fielder & Soloman). I also believe I am a more verbal learner and need to hear information but I do learn best with both visual and verbal elements (Fielder & Soloman). I was surprised by the results that I am balanced between sequential and global. I disagree with that because I feel I am more of a sequential learner because I like things to be laid out logically and in linear steps (Fielder & Soloman). Global learners can absorb information without making connection and learn and jumps and this does not describe my learning style at all (Fielder & Soloman). I do agree that I am balanced between sensing and intuitive learners. I can relate to both sides because I do like learning facts and solving problems, like sensing learners, and also feel I am good at grasping new concepts and innovative ideas and do not like memorization (Fielder & Soloman).

The personality quiz revealed that I have an ISTJ personality. This stands for introvert sensing thinking and judging (Butt). ISTJ’s are sometimes referred to as inspectors because of their sense of dependability, responsibility, and loyalty (Butt). These personality types can come across as cold because of lack of showing emotion (16Personalities, 2014). They also prefer facts and analyze their surroundings as well as do best with a linear and logical approach (16Personalities, 2014). ISTJ’s can also be very stubborn and may blame themselves for things that are not their faults (16Personalities, 2014). I agree with the results and find that almost everything that is stated correct. I was a little surprised that I may come across as cold to some but I do understand why, I rarely share my emotions. I also found that reading through the descriptions may help me to understand myself better as well as some areas I could possibly work on.

I do see some connections between my learning style and personality. I think being introverted and being a reflective learner relate to each other. I also think that is why I prefer to work alone and think about what I have learned. I think my personality test shows that I may have to work on being more emotionally open to people because for teaching I would not want to come across as cold to my students. I think being dependable and responsible are good characteristics for a teacher and liking to use a logical and linear approach would also be helpful for most students. Most of my learning styles were also fairly close to being balanced and not one sided which will make it easy for me to understand students different learning styles and needs.

16Personalities. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.16personalities.com/istj-personality

Butt, Joe. ISTJ Description. Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test. Retrieved from http://www.humanmetrics.com/personality/istj

Fielder, R., & Soloman, B. Learning styles and strategies. Retrieved from  http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/styles.htm

Being Information Literate

Being information literate is an important skill that is continually developed and can be very beneficial throughout life. Three characteristics of an information literate person are being able to identify an information need, using caution when considering and accepting information, and be able to apply the information that is gathered (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009). Having the ability to identify an information need requires knowing when there is a gap in one’s knowledge and being able to form the gap into a communicable question. This allows for a search to begin and leads to a hopefully complete and fulfilling answer. Using caution when searching for information includes being able to sift through information and identifying what is useful and legitimate. This is a very important skill today because of all the information that is available, both physically and online. Lastly, being able to apply the information that is found allows for the user to apply the information in critical thinking as well as contribute back to society (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009).

When designing lesson plans to develop these characteristics, I would include elements that promote independent learning and active learning.  This can be accomplished through using online asynchronous activities, for example completing a search and finding a source. I would also incorporate activities where students could get into small groups and discuss what they have learned from the lesson. Developing objectives and expected learning outcomes can also be helpful to the teacher and student to make the goals of the instruction clear, as well as to measure if the students are learning the information that they should (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009). Utilizing needs assessments and evaluations will also ensure that the students are learning what they need and that the instruction fills those needs (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009).

Grassian, E., & Kaplowitz, J. (2009). Information literacy instruction: Theory and practice (2nd ed.). New York: Neal-Schuman.

Blog, RSS Feed, or Listserv

The blog I chose to follow for the semester is Faculty Focus. The main reason I wanted to follow this particular blog is because of it’s concentration; higher education teaching strategies. My focus during my LIS education has been academic libraries and at first glance the articles of Faculty Focus looked interesting to me and could be useful both during my education and career.

The blog discusses many topics relevant to higher education. A few topics include academic leadership, technology in the classroom, classroom management, and education technology trends. I believe this blog is intended for college professors as well as those who would like to work in a college classroom. There are many different topics covered, I believe at a lot of LIS professionals who work in academic libraries would find this blog very useful.

There is a new article posted almost everyday, and at the very least every few days. The information is very relevant to classrooms of today and cover a broad range of information. The most current article to the blog is about incorporating active learning into online classes. It appears that a majority of the articles discuss teaching ideas and technology.

The site is available as an RSS feed. You can also sign up to receive a newsletter from the blog. I gave my email address to receive the newsletter and have found it to be informative. I also appreciate the amount of newsletters they send out. They email one every three to four days, enough to keep the reader up to date with overwhelming them or filling up their mailbox.

I look forward to following this blog the rest of the semester and reading the articles that they provide.

Faculty Focus. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/