Thursday, March 12, 2009

Is 'Little' More Effective Than 'Big'?



Is a 50 minute lesson a bit much for your students?

A Little- or Micro-Lesson About
Guglielmo Marconi, President Kennedy &
Cape Cod, MA USA



Guglielmo Marconi



Marconi Beach in South Wellfleet, MA, where Guglielmo Marconi sent from Marconi Beach the first wireless transatlantic transmission message of greetings from Theodore Roosevelt, the President of the United States, to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom on 18 January 1903 (click photo for more information about Marconi); view is from Marconi Beach on the site in South Wellfleet, MA looking east out to the Atlantic Ocean. Guglielmo Marconi sent from Marconi Beach in South Wellfleet, MA the first wireless transatlantic transmission. Here is a photo of the original site where greetings from Theodore Roosevelt, the President of the United States, was sent to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom on 18 January 1903. In what year and area did Guglielmo Marconi receive the Noble Prize? Was there any controversy that surrounded his acceptance speech?

President Kennedy & Cape Cod





You can visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum and take a virtual tour. How many children did Joseph and Rose kennedy have? Who were they and what was President Kennedy's pecking order number? What were the names of the boats he loved and used?

Cape Cod has beautiful beaches, cranberry bogs, salt ponds, hiking and biking trails (CCRT) and pristine rivers/bays to kayak on Cape Cod, MA, especially the National Seashore! See Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce for further information.

Assignments



Questions:

1) What was the actual greeting message that was sent from Wellfleet to England? In what year and area did Guglielmo Marconi receive the Nobel Prize? Was there any controversary? Explain. How many children did Joseph and Rose kennedy have? Who were they and what was President Kennedy's pecking order number? What were the names of the boats he loved and used? Send your answers via e-mail to me at bill.graziadei@gmail.com or use one of the methods listed under Discussion.

2) What impact did this historic event have on information communication technology (ICT) as you see IT today?

3) What main point did you walk away with from this lesson with?

4) What one point did they least understand in this lesson?

5) What one historical place would you like to most visit on the Cape and why?


Discussion: Questions 2-5 using:

Formal Discussion Questions 2-4 - Edmodo Click on "Student" to signup and enter code for class: xqz904. Go to Online (e)Learning after signup/login.

Informal Discussion Question 5 - Twitter using the hash symbol #tlt or Yammer if you have either a capecod.com or plattsburgh.edu e-mail domain; don't forget to use #tlt at the end of response here as well.

Assessment: The quality of your responses and replies will be evaluated.


Addendum



What is a little- or micro-lesson and a suggested format?



But first, here's a question to mull over in your mind before reading on further. Is a 50 minute, not to mention 75 or even 150 minute, lecture a bit much for your students?

Now that you have thought about the question and have come to some kind of conclusion from your perspective, read Introducing the Microlecture Format and let me know what you think by posting a comment on Twitter using the hash symbol #micro.

Here are some key excerpts.

In online education “tiny bursts can teach just as well as traditional lectures when paired with assignments and discussions.” The little- or micro-lesson format begins with a some narrative, questions(s) and perhaps even a podcast that introduces a few key terms, little known fact or a critical concept, then immediately turns the learning environment over to the learners.

“It’s a framework for knowledge excavation,” Penrose tells Shieh. “We’re going to show you where to dig, we’re going to tell you what you need to be looking for, and we’re going to oversee that process.”

"It clearly will not work for a course that is designed to feature sustained classroom discussions. And while the concept will work well when an instructor wants to introduce smaller chunks of information, it will likely not work very well when the information is more complex."

"The little- or micro-lesson format similarly requires instructors to get the key elements across in a very short amount of time/space. Most importantly, it forces educators to think in a new way."

To develop your own little- or micro-lesson, follow these simple 5 steps:


  1. Start with your course subject area and specific content of a lecture you recently gave and construct a question about that lesson based on your stated objectives. Then list the key concepts that you would convey in a 60-minute lecture. These key concepts will form the core of your microlecture.



  2. Write a 15 to 30-second introduction and conclusion with the intention of asking learners to provide explanatory context through discussion of the key concepts.



  3. Search for and/or create/record an audio or video podcast using a microphone and web camera about these key concept elements. The finished product should be 60 seconds to three minutes long. A photo is worth a 1000 words as well, then and now.



  4. Design an assignment to follow the little- or micro-lesson that will direct learners to readings or activities that allow them to explore the key concepts. Combined with a written assignment, that should allow students to learn the material. Close by asking the learners two questions: 1) What main point did you walk away from the lesson with? and 2) What one point did they least understand?



  5. Upload the video and assignment to your course-management software, e.g., edu20 (signup and enroll or login with userid: guest8 password: guest8) or website as was done here. You can even use Google Maps; see Global PLN Map.




Needless to say I was pleased to happen upon the Introducing the Microlecture Format. I have been using the 'small chunk' or 'little lesson' approach for years and had done the Guglielmo Marconi & Cape Cod, MA for a Global PLN Google demonstration of a little lesson for K-12 teachers and their students. As you well know it works and one can easily integrate Web 2.0 applications to achieve effective learning objectives.

The end result will look something like this Little- or Micro-lesson About Guglielmo Marconi, President Kennedy & Cape Cod, MA USA without the addendum. A little-lesson is all about a little-learning and it works in bits and pieces. This is true for both face-to-face and online teaching-learning.

Do you use the little- or micro-lesson approach or something like it in your teaching? Let me know by responding to this poll question.

 
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