In this week’s blog, I will express what I have learned about MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) by outlining a mini-online experience or “Ultra Micro MOOC” using the P2PU design. To create the outline of my MOOC successfully, I will need to adhere to the principles Dr. Stephen Yelon articulates in the video, “The Secrets to Instructional Design” (Yelon, 2001). Dr. Yelon states, “There are certain elements that must be present for an effective piece of instruction, and they must all be consistent with one another.” I will strive to include and connect the following components of Dr. Yelon’s “secret” to instructional design: Real World Performance, Terminal Objective, Content, Methods, and Evaluation.
In my Mini-Economy Classroom Management course, my peers will master managing a classroom successfully by creating a classroom management style that incorporates money and posting updates/sharing ideas.
1. Course Topic: Classroom Management
3. Who is coming to your course? What will attract them? Why would they want to participate in this experience?
I believe my Mini-Economy Classroom Management course would likely attract teachers and educators of all sorts. Whether it be elementary, middle, or high school, I believe my course would be beneficial. It would not be relevant at the collegiate level. Educators would be attracted to the idea of finding a new, fun, and effective style of managing their classroom. Especially with beginning teachers, classroom management is absolutely paramount, so my course would help them tremendously. Educators would want to participate in this experience to first learn a new style of classroom management but also to have the opportunity to communicate with fellow teachers to share how their similar experiences with using this style are going.
4. What do you want learners to be able to do when they are done? (Connect your thoughts here to the learning theories you explored last week and the design principles you learned this week.) How long is your course experience?
When learners are finished taking my course, I would like them to be able to create and administer a successful classroom management system that incorporates money. With the use of play-money, students would have practice with real-life situations. The Constructivist Theory believes that learning experiences should be authentic and produce real-world learning environments that allow the learner to construct their own knowledge. An example of using the Constructivist Theory in accordance with a classroom management style incorporating play-money would be when a student is on task and doing a great job in class, they are rewarded with more money at the end of the week versus the opposite when poor behavior warrants less money at the end of the week. In addition, one of the key elements in Dr. Yelon’s video, “The Secrets to Instructional Design” is Real World Performance, which talks about how learners will use what they have mastered as citizens and educated people in the world. Without a doubt, students at the elementary, middle, and high school level will eventually use and manipulate money on a day-to-day basis as adults. My course experience would likely be three to four weeks in length with each module I show being less than one hour apiece. I would only show three modules a week but allow ample enough time for learners to communicate with each other whenever they wanted to share experiences or ideas.
5. What will peers make?
Peers would make a classroom management system incorporating play-money and economic principles. I have named my system “Mini-Economy.” Peers would see my system through different modules and learn to create/administer their own as they would like based off of the foundation I established for them. My “Mini-Economy” is as follows:
Mini-Economy is a wonderful management system. It teaches students about economic matters, such as saving, spending, needs and wants, and supply and demand. It also teaches them responsibility and math skills. The following is a basic explanation of how it works in our classroom:
- Students get paid $5.00 per day for showing up and doing their best all day (That’s their job!).
- If a student does not have their homework, they only lose $1.00 for the first day (We all forget sometimes!), $5.00 for two days late, and $10.00 for a third day.
- Students will lose money for not doing their expected job in the classroom.
- Paychecks go home on Fridays. Please ask your child to show you their paycheck. If they get paid $5.00 per day, they can earn $25.00 if they do their job. Students should not be earning below $15.00, unless it’s a short week.
- $20.00 desk rent will be collected at the beginning of each month. Students must save for this.
- Students should always keep at least $10.00 in savings for emergencies. For example, if I make a booklet and a student loses it, they will need to buy a new one from me.
- Now for the fun part! Every other Friday, we have school store. If a child was not responsible with their eraser and lost it, they may need to buy a new one (needs). If a child has taken care of their supplies, they can buy little toys, candy, etc. (wants)
- If you have any questions, ask your child – they’d love to talk about it!
6. Now that you’ve identified skills and made projects for each skill, how do those activities hang together as a course? (Again, connect to learning theories, instructional design, and consider how TPACK comes into play.)
The beginning of the course would be primarily focused on creating the classroom management system that fits each individual classroom. Expectations, needs and wants, and responsibilities differ from elementary classrooms, for example, to those at the high school level. Using the Mini-Economy system, teachers could tweak it to best accommodate their students and classroom. Once the system is established, the second half of the course would be focused on administering the system. This part would rely heavily on collaboration of peers discussing how the system is being used and how it has been successful/unsuccessful. Dr. Yelon suggested it is imperative for an instructional design to have a method to help participants learn. This is what would be largely discussed among the participants of my course. Since every teacher is different, they would all try their different management styles and come back together to discuss what worked best. As a result, educators would learn from each other how to best implement their system and manage their classrooms successfully.
7. How will peers help each other in your course?
Peers will help each other tremendously in my course. As mentioned, educators will not only share their created management system, they will also share how their system is working/not working in the classroom. Through collaboration and sharing of these experiences, I believe participants in my course will gain a better understanding of how to manage a classroom successfully using play money and economic principles. In addition, students will feel as if they are part of a unit or team, and there will undoubtedly become a new sense of accountability restored in the classroom.
Overall, I definitely believe MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) make giving information much more compelling than the traditional style. It definitely pulls away from the traditional method of standing and telling students “stuff” or simply lecturing. It encourages collaboration and sharing of ideas among peers rather than one person having all of the knowledge in the room simply telling everyone else what they know aloud. I will certainly consider joining and creating my own MOOCs in the future.
Yelon, S. L. (2001). Goal-Directed Instructional Design: A Practical Guide to Instructional Planning for Teachers and Trainers. Michigan State University: Self-published, Not in electronic format.