I finally completed a MOOC!

Virtual-Instruction-Logo_Correct-SizeI have signed up for so many courses on many platforms, but have never managed to complete one.

But now I have!

I signed up for the 5 week Introduction to Virtual Instruction in K-12 education. This appealed to me as it wasn’t that long, only a few hours a week, and I hoped I could learn something new that could help me with my career development.

Unfortunately this wasn’t the best course for me as it was very USA centric and involved remembering lots of facts about the US legal and education system. The format was:

  1. Week 1: History of Virtual Education
  2. Week 2: Synchronous and Asynchronous Technologies
  3. Week 3: Transitioning from the Classroom to a Virtual Environment
  4. Week 4: Equity and Access, Funding, and the Law
  5. Week 5: The Future of Virtual Education and Review

To pass the unit I had to complete 4 weekly quizzes (40%), an assignment (15%) and a final exam (45%). I knew a lot about the subject content anyway, which was good as it confirmed to me that I know what I’m doing and those in Unis all around the world were operating the same way I was. Luckily Coursera has a ‘speed up’ button that allows you to whiz thru the videos at double speed!

The most valuable ‘take-away’ from the course was the assignment task. I was to create a lesson plan for a virtual class (see assignment brief Foundations of Virtual Instruction)

I really enjoyed this activity and proved that Choreography can be taught online!

1 passed with 98.3% so am very happy with my results 🙂 For those who are interested, my lesson plan (aligned to the assessment Rubric) is below:

(Notes: this lesson plan would be made available to students prior to the session, hence why most of the information is directed at them)

Title: Choreographers between 1970-2000
Subject: Dance
Level: 3 – A Level (post 16yrs) (http://ofqual.gov.uk/help-and-advice/comparing-qualifications/)

During this class you will:

  1. Be introduced to modern dance choreographers between the period of 1970-2000
  2. Be able to identify some key characteristics and/or ‘signatures’ of each choreographer’s productions
  3. Start to develop your own choreography based on a chosen choreographer from the 1970-2000 period

These objectives take one week to complete and includes various ‘show & tell’ activities by both your teacher, your peers and yourself that will help you to choreograph, perform, record and share your finished dance with your classmates. It is hoped that during this lesson you will be able to share videos of your favourite choreographers, as well as those you have only just discovered during the homework task. All stages of this lesson plan will take place online as it is not necessary for us all to be in one geographical location.

In order to meet these objectives you must:

  • Participate in the virtual classroom session
  • Have a Google Account
  • Have a microphone and webcam
  • Have access to the many online video streaming channels (youtube vimeo etc)
  • Have access to music that can be played in the background – either streamed or downloaded
  • A way to record your dance (smartphone, recording device. Laptop etc). Please note Video-Editing is optional for those who have those skills

Virtual components and lesson activities:

  1. A virtual classroom session via Adobe Connect Pro where you will be shown 5 prominent choreographers and some of their works from the period of 1970-2000. You are to write down and then add your thoughts to the designated GoogleDoc for each choreographer after you have finished watching each video taking into consideration the key characteristics and ‘signatures’ of the choreographer’s works. Videos of all 5 choreographers’ work will be added to the class’s VLE Choreographer Database* by your teacher after the session for you to revisit and analyse. You must be logged into your Google account to add your comments to the GoogleDoc (1hr)
  2. A ‘homework’ task where you will research 5 more choreographers of your choice, choose 3 and share a weblink to one of their works with your classmates via the VLE Choreographer Database. If a choreographer’s work has already been added, you must then add a different piece choreographed by them. You are required to add a summary of key characteristics/signatures in the online text box underneath your link. Feel free to add any comments to your classmates’ submissions. (1 hr)
  3. A choreography task where you must make up a 60 second dance, performed by you, in the style of any choreographer in the database. You will record it with a video camera, save a copy of it on your computer ready to share with your peers during the next virtual classroom session. You must try to use appropriate location settings, music, props and make-up where possible. (3hrs)
  4. A final virtual classroom session via Adobe Connect Pro where you will share your recording of your dance, followed by a commentary as to how your dance is similar to your chosen choreographer’s. You will be asked to share your computer screen during this session so please make sure that there is nothing inappropriate on show on your screen. (1hr)

*(The choreographer database will be created using the Moodle Forum tool with each entry as a new ‘thread’)

Method of Evaluation:
There will be many opportunities for me to observe whether or not you have mastered the objectives:

  1. If you participate in the first virtual classroom session, I will see your contributions to the GoogleDoc
  2. I will be able to view your entries in the Choreographer Database
  3. I will watch a screen share of your choreographed dance performed by you, and will listen to your reasoning as to why your dance is similar to your chosen choreographers’.
  4. Both virtual classroom sessions will require you to have your webcam and microphone on.

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