Discussion Responses

read this students posts and respond as if you were talking to the directly 

Topic 5 DQ 1      

Write two rules you can use to determine which learning materials are appropriate for your students/audience. Have you been in a situation where learning materials were less appropriate than they should have been? How did you handle it?



Ashley
2 posts
Re: Topic 5 DQ 1
In education every unit, every lesson, centers around one specific idea: what do we want the students to learn? What should they be able to do following the conclusion of the material? If this is the center of the unit/lesson, this should be the root of choosing learning materials as well. If our learning materials are not aligned with our objectives, they will detract from the lesson leaving the students confused and overwhelmed. McKeachie and Svinicki (2014) said it best, “In choosing reading materials, the most important thing is that they fit your objectives” (p. 12). This is my first rule of choosing appropriate learning materials: choose a textbook that aligns with the course objectives. Though a well-chosen textbook is vital to the success of the students, it is also important to recognize that textbooks are rarely written for a specific class, and therefore will never cover every single topic. Furthermore, all students learn and perceive things differently, so the view of one author in a textbook may not align well with the views of all students in the class. Therefore, my second rule when choosing appropriate learning materials is to always supplement the textbook with outside sources and allow students the creative freedom to utilize their own sources of information (as long as they are scholarly). Allowing students to view outside sources such as articles and chapters from other books will help maintain students’ interest in the course material and provide alternate points of view to be considered (McKeachie & Svinicki, 2014, p.11).I have personally been in a class where the learning materials were not appropriate to the course objectives. Every single week we would have discussions and assignments, and there would be assigned reading from the textbook. For the first few weeks, I thought I must be misunderstanding the directions or that there must have been a typo, because the reading in the textbook fit with that week’s objectives so poorly. By the time I was done with the class I realized that the textbook was simply inappropriate for the class, and I left that feedback upon completion of the course. It was frustrating, being told to read long chapters that had nothing to do with the tasks we were completing that week. I felt that this was probably chosen by curriculum designers, not the instructor themselves, so I kept my head down, got through the class, and left my feedback at the end. Having reading material that does not align with the course is not only confusing, but it can leave students feeling discouraged and frustrated. Choosing appropriate learning materials ensures the success of the students as well as their continued interest in the course.



Elizabeth  
3 posts
Re: Topic 5 DQ 1
Having a thorough knowledge of the audience before preparing content is helpful in choosing the appropriate material, creating an effective instructional strategy and providing a learning environment where students feel supported. One rule to consider when determining materials is focusing on group characteristics. Understanding the size of the learner group, the geographical location and their level of learning will help determine some effective instructional strategies. For instance, considering such differences as having novices or experts on a topic can help design the lesson in a meaningful manner.The second rule is, understanding the students’ context. Knowing their goals, challenges, frustrations or where the students will apply the knowledge that they obtain from the course, can serve as a guide when determining how the content will be delivered. Finding out information about students makes learning more relevant and accessible. I can recall a presentation I shared with my class that appeared to be well developed, only to result in a monotonous delivery of content. Knowing my students, a quick scan of the room offered me an immediate understanding that this lesson was in desperate need of tweaking. “Linking lectures to student interests, giving examples that are vivid and intriguing and building suspense toward resolution of a conflict – these are all techniques of gaining and holding attention” (McKeachie & Svinicki, 2014, p.68). Therefore, I directed my class to an independent activity, as I revised my lesson plan to include a group discussion and online reflection activity, which led to a more favorable outcome



Antwan 

2 posts
Re: Topic 5 DQ 1
The two rules I would use when determining what materials I would use when determining what learning materials are appropriate for my students are what do the students want to gain from this course and what should they be able to do at the conclusion of the class? Since I want to teach communication/journalism courses at the college level, I would have students read basic reporting books and the AP Style guide with the hopes they would have an understanding of what it takes to write like a professional reporter. Having movivated students will help keep everyone engaged inside and outside of the classroom. “Linking lectures to student interests, giving examples that are vivid and intriguing, and building suspense toward resolution of a conflict—these are all techniques of gaining and holding attention” (McKeachie & Svinicki, 2014, p.68).