|Question:||Answers (In Note Form)|
|Describe your persona||See the profile below|
|Will this student be learning all online, blended, with support … Describe the “mediums” in which this persona might be learning. Where would the learning be asynchronous or synchronous? Why?||Blended – the child will be in class when he is able. But the reality is that he will be learning from home up to 3 days a week most days. Due to his home responsibilities, the learning will have to be asynchronous.
Synchronous mediums: In class learning, “roboting” into class using telepresence robot, web-broadcasted teacher instruction. Web-based apps
Asynchronous mediums: Web-based platform; e.g. Google Classroom, Moodle, Microsoft OneNote, or others. Web-based apps
Take-home hand-outs and materials provided by teacher (non web-based)
|List/ describe any digital tools that might be considered to support online learning.||Thomasz will be using a variety of digital tools that will help him succeed in his blended learning experience and his ability to cope with his general anxiety disorder and struggles with his attention span. The goal of his online learning experience is to “minimize threats” (UDL) while still having a sense of classroom belonging and community. The majority of his online learning will encompass more interactive learning (podcasts, videos, interactive readings, etc.) and learning with his close peers (who Thomasz feels comfortable working with). The digital tools that will help Thomasz in his learning journey include:
|How would you describe this student’s ideal learning context?||Ideally, the child wants to feel that his at-home learning and in-school learning can be a seamless transition. He doesn’t want to feel like he is an outsider among his peers.
He enjoys working through his school work at home with his parents.
|What are the real and perceived barriers to learning that are preventing safe, flexible and supportive learning experiences and environments for this student?||Parental limits in schedule (in supporting learning), anxiety and attention issues, limits in his personal schedule (taking care of siblings). The need to be intrinsically motivated. Possible internet connectivity issues (as is the reality with any online based learning). Family responsibilities (siblings).|
|Are there real or perceived equity, social justice or cultural considerations that may be preventing safe,flexible and supportive learning experiences and environments for this persona?||We plan on creating a classroom where learners will always have space that is safe, welcoming, and supportive, free from any cultural bias or discrimination of any form. However, we will never shy away from discussing or acknowledging the way people feel that their personal identity may be affected by the society in which we live. Therefore, even though our student has no obvious need for considerations around this topic, we will always be aware that this issue may arise and we will confront it as needed. See our reference list for the multitude of articles we researched on ways to support ALL learners.|
|How would you design for this persona in a distributed learning medium versus an open learning medium? What are some of the differences that you would consider? (Check the EDCI339 Section A03 Project Description for more details about this question. The EDCI339 A)4 has a k-12 focus and is different from the EDCI339 A03 project. please follow the EDCI339 Project Expectations)||Distributed: include a mix of synchronous and asynchronous class meetings for activities and collaboration. Use online technological applications that can be used in real-time with the class and individually for formative assessment (eg Quizizz). Digital delivery of content through a learning management system using multiple modes of representation such as text, video and audio.
In our online setting, we will also consider the eight design principles prescribed by Kral and Schwab (2020) when structuring our learning space. In particular, we will ensure that we create spaces for multi-modal self-expression and socialization with peers in our LMS to help bridge the gap between Thomasz’s online and face-to-face learning experiences.
Open: integrate networked learning through the use of a participatory culture, digital learning spaces and open educational resources to support personal inquiry/connectivist learning approach. To assist Thomasz at home, structure learning assignments that require documentation (eg e-portfolio) over a period of time (formative assessment) that can be shared with others in the class and beyond.
Heightened consideration of FIPPA and privacy policies are needed in open learning as information is shared beyond class walls. With greater flexibility, choice and capability for informal learning experiences, open learning would require increased teacher/parent support or self-efficacy skills in research, documentation and reflection.
|How could your learning design support multiple means of engagement?
Check http://udlguidelines.cast.org/ for more information.
|Minimize threats and distractions (7.1):
With Thomasz’s diagnosed general anxiety disorder, it is important to create a safe environment for Thomasz. In Thomasz situation, this would include increasing small group work with who he feels comfortable with, creating a classroom community, and having constant communication with Thomasz to help him and help with his blended learning experience.
For Thomasz to successfully manage in a classroom setting and find a way to decrease his anxiety, there needs to be a classroom and school plan. In Thomasz’s classroom, he has personal connections in the school to help scaffold strategies to develop internal controls and coping skills as well as tri-weekly one-on-one classes with the school counselor. These gatherings are designed for emotional support and a review of daily check-lists, reminders, and models.
For all learners, to have the most positive learning environment, there is a need for respectful connections, positive relationships, and a helpful community. Our learning design supports the fostering of collaboration and community because there is lots of opportunity for Thomasz to communicate and collaborate with peers he feels comfortable around to create his own sense of community. This is where he feels safe and has lower anxiety. This goal for Thomasz (and the class) is done through collaboration, web-broadcasting when Thomasz is learning online, and constant opportunities for classroom community building (small groups if necessary to accommodate Thomasz).
See; list of tools in our previous sections.
|How could your learning design support multiple means of representation?
Check http://udlguidelines.cast.org/ for more information.
|Perception (provide information in different modalities and in a format that allows for adjustability by the user)
Language & Symbols (provide alternate representations for accessibility, clarity and comprehension)
Comprehension (scaffold information for knowledge construction, processing and transfer)
See; our list of tools to be used for this purpose in the sections above.
|How could your learning design support multiple means of action and expression?
Check http://udlguidelines.cast.org/ for more information.
|Physical Action (interact with accessible materials and tools)
Vary the methods for response and navigation (4.1)
Optimize access to tools and assistive technologies (4.2)
Use multiple media for communication (5.1)
Use Multiple tools for construction and composition (5.2)
Build fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance (5.3)
Guide appropriate goal-setting (6.1)
Support planning and strategy development (6.2)/Facilitate managing information and resources (6.3)/Enhance capacity for monitoring progress (6.4)
(click here to see our methods of generation)
|Name: Thomasz Horvath (Tom, Tommy)
Age: 10 (Grade 4)
Lives in: Southeastern British Columbia
Like: Mountain biking, Dogs, Roblox
|Education and experience||A blend of face to face and online school due to his living situation. Thomasz attends a school in the southeast region of B.C. Due to moving between locations throughout the week, Tommy is able to attend a face to face class only 2 – 3 days a week. Therefore, the rest of the week is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous online learning with his Grade 4 class.Thomasz has achieved his competencies successfully through his previous classes. His previous teachers have noted that he has shown an aptitude towards Math, Physical Education, and Computer skills. He gets along with his classmates and does contribute to classroom discussions. However, he is not the most outspoken of students due to his feelings of anxiety. He has limited experience with formal online learning, but we predict that his advanced computer skills and his willingness to engage will be helpful attributes to his online learning.|
|Roles and responsibilities||He has two younger siblings and is a big help to his parents because of their work schedules and separation. He is really into mountain biking and has a spot on the school club, but misses a lot of activities due to his family situation. In the classroom, Tom has shown an ability to socialize with his peers, due to his anxiety he can seem shy, but when given the opportunity and multiple means of expression, he is fully competent in social settings.|
|Technical skills||Has an interest in video games so his computer skills are quite advanced. Due to living in a rural setting half of the time, he has also developed a strong understanding of digital communication tools, especially Zoom and Google meet. However, staying on task for longer periods of time is sometimes difficult. Therefore, interactive elements and creation tools will be key to keeping him engaged in his learning.|
|Subject domain skills and knowledge||He has advanced computer skills for his age, knowledge of the environment and his town’s surroundings, and is quite athletic.|
|Motivation and desires||Wants to please others, desires positive reinforcement.|
|Goals and expectations||Thomasz’s goal is to be able to complete grade 4 in a combination of online and face to face learning and gain a comparable learning outcome as his classmates.|
|Obstacles to their success||He was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder and struggles with his attention span (is working to overcome these learning challenges).Has to travel to a remote location half of the days of the week due to his parents’ jobs. He also struggles with organizational skills.|
|Unique assets||Advanced math skills, very good athlete, advanced computer skills. A caring member of the classroom community. Described by adults as “sweet” and by his peers as “nice.”|
General Overview Video
In terms of supporting Thomasz in the online and open portion of his blended learning setting, we will be offering multiple means of representation (with reference to perception, language and symbols, and comprehension) when delivering content to facilitate a flexible and safe learning environment (Basham et al., 2018). A prominent obstacle to Thomasz’s success is his struggles with attention span and deciphering longer segments of text. To increase levels of accessibility and leverage Thomasz’s limited working memory capacity, we will utilize research from Mayer’s (2014) multimedia learning principles when creating and curating effective alternatives of visual and auditory displays of information through tools such as videos, podcasts, and interactive reading sites. A majority of these digital representations of content will provide opportunities for customization such as volume/rate of speech, size and layout of visual information, and colour/text contrast as accessible through the class management system hub. To maintain a seamless transition between online and face to face settings, instruction of digital literacy skills will also be incorporated into lessons in the brick and mortar space.
Furthermore, in supporting and strengthening Thomasz’s ability in text interpretation, we will offer multiple embedded tools within digital documents such as hyperlinks to definitions, charts and maps of key vocabulary and symbols for alternate representations of meaning. Positive findings from Proctor et al.’s (2007) study of utilizing multimedia text with embedded instruction on reading achievement performance also guide the development of our support system for Thomasz. In addition, speech-text and text-speech software will also be available to provide ease of access when reading and collaborating with others. Whenever possible, we will incorporate visual elements such as pictures, videos, and diagrams into written instructional material. In addition to ‘chunking’ information into smaller, progressive sections, the overall process of meaning-making will be supported through models and scaffolds using graphic organizers, concept maps, and visual prompts to emphasize critical features and relationships which will help highlight organizational structure and paraphrasing strategies. Aspects of a flipped learning model will be incorporated by providing condensed videos, blog posts, or handouts of material linking back to previous knowledge.
Multiple Means of Engagement Video
Action and Expression Explanation
Thomasz has many unique qualities that make-up him as a learner. To optimize his learning and to feed his confidence, it is up to us as Thomasz educational designers to come up with resources, strategies, and tools to support him. Thomasz has unique ways of navigating through his learning environments and expressing his understanding and knowledge (http://udlguidelines.cast.org/) it’s the responsibility of us to optimize Thomasz’s ability and means of expression.
The resources we have created for Thomasz are ones that will aid him by giving him alternative means of presenting his knowledge. Instead of traditional print-out packages, Thomasz will be able to use software programs and interactive online platforms. These resources will give him the chance to move between his online and face-to-face blended learning seamlessly. To support Thomasz and his anxiety challenges with separation and feelings of social isolation, we will encourage the use of multiple means of communication such as a telepresence robot, zoom videos, google classroom discussion forums, and blogging. These communication tools will be beneficial to Thomasz feeling included amongst his classmates at school and home. Having the opportunity to feel socially interactive with his classmates will increase his construction of knowledge by allowing him to share his ideas and hear those of his peers (Garett Dickers, 2018). To alleviate added stress of time management; and to erase the possibility of deceived perceptions of the quality of Thomasz’s work, we will give him access to tools made for constructing and composing such as spellcheckers, word prediction software, and text-to-speech software. These tools will encourage Thomasz to complete his work regardless of having to require support or giving up because of frustration (MacArthur, C., Graham, S., Haynes, J., & DeLaPaz, S. 1996). To improve Thomasz’s organizational and self-motivation skills, we, as well with his teachers/mentors and parents, will implement and guide him in creating a goal-setting system where he can see his progression throughout his learning.
Our goal as his educational designers is to create learning environments for Thomasz that are specifically designed with his needs first. We understand that his blended learning style of open learning, online learning, and face-to-face is still very new in the world of teaching. However, if our efforts mean that Thomasz can meet his learning goals and desires, then we will do whatever it takes and redesign Thomasz’s educational plan until his needs are met.
(click here for our annotated version)
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