Monthly Archives: April 2014
In Instructional Design, EDTECH 503, we were taken through many exercises to prepare us for thinking about the course we were designing for our final project. One of the exercises covered ARCS motivational strategies, which stands for Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction. Attention has to deal with how you are going to grab the attention of your learners. What do you already know about them and how can you use that to grab their attention? Relevance focuses on how is what they are being taught pertinent to the learners’ lives? Why should they care about what I am teaching them? Why should they want to put time into doing the lessons I create? Confidence deals with what I am going to build into the course so that the learners feel supported and have their confidence built as they progress through it. What am I requiring them to do, how will they know if they are doing things correctly, and do I trust them enough to allow them to make choices about what they do to learn the information? Do I give them some level of personal control? Finally, what level of satisfaction is available for the learners? When they finish my course, will they feel like they have learned something and how will they know? What are some positive consequences they should anticipate by participating in my course? What have I done to make sure everybody feels welcome and can access the course content?
I answered these questions as I planed my course on how to tackle the National Board process. motivation-strategies_chart_Getz (doc)
ARCS Motivational Strategies Plan
Project Goal Statement: After identifying types of evidence evaluated in the National Board portfolios, teachers will be able to write their own statements incorporating concrete, concise evidence.
A.1 Perceptual Arousal
>We have all imagined the joy we will feel when we pass the National Board Certification process. Some of us, unfortunately, had our validated, yet the scores were not high enough for passing. If what was holding you back were the semantics of your written entries, then these exercises may be what can help focus your writing so it is more clear and concise to the assessors.
A2. Inquiry Arousal
>For this exercise we are actually going to look at an entry outside of your specific teaching area so that you can separate your passion for students interacting with content you teach and can focus on what productive student behavior can look like and how to communicate you are aware of student learning. In addition we will cover the multitude of ways you can present evidence in your written National Board entries so that you are sure to present relevant information that substantiates your teaching ability.
>The activities planned for you to engage in range from matching terms with their definitions, evaluating the quality of specific sentences, identifying types of evidence, and ultimately writing passages whose sole goal is to communicate your knowledge of students and how you share your craft with them.
R1. Goal orientation
> We submit portfolios to the National Boards for a variety of reasons. Many of us do not pass the first time we submit a portfolio. If you feel that your writing can be strengthened and that will ultimately yield better writing for your submissions, then these exercises may be what you need to fully understand the directions being given for the entries. The questions are intentionally ambiguous to allow for candidates to have freedom with what they choose to submit, however there are some very specific guidelines and questions that need to be answered. The evidence exercises are designed to help candidates identify what the questions are asking them to do and how to express in writing that they have achieved what the questions are asking.
R2. Motive matching
> All of us have our own personal motive for going through the National Board Portfolio process. Given that it costs us money to do it, it consumes our attention for the time we are writing or planning for the entries, and it is automatically made public if you passed, there is a high external motivation to pass. Naturally we all have some intrinsic need that we are filling by doing the National Board process, but the external factors can be what pushes us to continue and resubmit entries in the second or third year, if necessary.
>The initial target group, Advanced Candidates, are familiar with the National Board process because to be an Advanced Candidate, you have to have submitted all four written entries and taken the six assessment center tests. The total score was not high enough for passing so you get two more years to resubmit entries that did not pass or redo tests that did not pass a minimum score. Advanced Candidates are redoing something very similar to what they submitted the previous year. After these exercises are done by Advanced Candidates and the value of going through what may at first seem like something they learned in high school, first year candidates may find they want to take the few hours it will take to go through the lessons. If that is the case, the participants will be somewhat familiar with the nature of the National Board questioning, but may not have given it the amount of thought required to complete an entry.
C1. Learning requirements
>Learners will start out by reading the types of evidence and do a matching exercise to recognize their familiarity with the types of evidence that are assessed in the portfolio. They will then read sentences and classify them as having evidence or not. In addition, some may be able to be classified as certain types of evidence based on their content. For those who need awareness with specificity of evidence, there is a branch of exercises where students evaluate various sentences for their level of specificity. This should help candidates become more aware of how to be concise with their writing.
C2. Success opportunities
> There are opportunities for success built in the lessons’ exercises. They find out immediately if they matched the types of evidence with the description of the evidence. There are forums where peers will evaluate each other’s writing and give feedback. The main purpose of doing the lessons is to help teachers actualize their success as teachers by being recognized as National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT).
C3. Personal control
> The exercises are optional. Although they are designed to go in an order, the learner is not getting graded or earning credits for doing the exercises. The point of the lessons are to help candidates with writing for the National Board Portfolio. They can skip parts of lessons or do some of them multiple times. If as they are writing they want a refresher as to what they should be considering when they write their entries, they are free to come back and redo any parts that help them.
S1. Natural consequences
>A natural consequence of doing the evidence based lessons should be increased confidence in how to answer the questions posed for the National Board entries. The instructions for the writing process in the portfolio are incredibly convoluted and are very difficult to pull apart to see exactly what the writer is being asked to address. Seeing the expectations presented from the point of view of answers being evidence based and not just figuring out what to say so the question can be answered will be very powerful.
S2. Positive consequences
>Learning how to write clearly and concisely is important in all academic settings. Learners may find their overall ability to write becomes easier because they have figured out how to remove useless words and only include those that impart meaning.
>At this point any teacher who is going through the National Board process is welcome to be a part of the learning community. Those who are not going through the NB process won’t necessarily be turned away, but the jargon and context for discussions may be meaningless and irrelevant to their needs. We do not intend to discriminate based on which subject area or age level is being assessed. All of the portfolio categories have similar questions; they are just located in different contexts.
Keller, J. M. (1987). The systematic process of motivational design. Performance & Instruction, 26 (9/10), 1-8.
Another activity we did in 503 to prepare for the final project, was to write an instructor’s guide to the lesson we are creating. The guide takes parts of what we did for the ARCS and other questions to provide an overview of who we are teaching, what we plan to teach them, and expected outcomes.
OUTLINE FOR Instructor Guide for the lessons included in: How to use the NBPTS Evidence Guide to write evidence saturated entries for the NB Portfolio.
Context of lessons: Learning Goal
After identifying types of evidence evaluated in the National Board portfolios, teachers will be able to write their own statements incorporating concrete, concise evidence.
Active Attention or Gain Attention
• The instructor needs to find Advanced Candidates who would be interested in participating in these lessons. There are some teacher forums online where they may be able to mention the presence of the lessons, however those forums actually restrict what can and can not be posted.
• The instructor may also be someone who already works with National Board Candidates (NBC) through their local or online instructional forums. If they already have students, then they can introduce to them that they have access to lessons that are designed to help NBC have an idea of what they are being asked to do and to create for their portfolios.
Establish Purpose or Inform Learners of Purpose
• Instructors should let the learners know that the intent of the lessons is to help them see the variety of types of evidence that are sought when their written entries are assessed.
• In addition, many people want assistance with their writing. There are exercises that should help candidates see how specific their writing can or should be in their entries.
Arouse Interest and Motivation or Stimulate Learners’ Attention/Motivation
• The motivation is mostly internal because teachers choose to do the National Board process. I understand that some districts are making the NB process mandatory. In those situations, there should be an increase in pay or other extrinsic motivator.
• An extrinsic motivator is also the recognition the teacher receives should their community choose to acknowledge the accomplishments.
• Instructors can inform their candidates of monetary or local recognition if either apply.
Preview the Learning Activity or Provide Overview
• Instructors should let participants know that there are three major parts to the lessons:
o Identifying types of evidence
o Learning how to write sentences where words focus on evidence
o Learners write their own statements and submit them for peer review. Likewise, they review other candidate’s statements to give constructive feedback.
Note: the lessons are going to be in an online format, much like how our class is in Moodle. I may build a Moodle shell or other “free” LMS to have a NB learning community. I intend to have the exercises relatively self-contained so learners work at their own pace. There may be times when the exercises are used with specific support groups. In those situations there would be an instructor, but it would be more like how “teachers” facilitate online classes.
Recall relevant prior knowledge or Stimulate recall of prior knowledge
• Instructors can inform learners that they are writing about their craft. How do they teach? Who do they teach? How do they know their students learned the material?
Process information and examples or Present information and examples
• This is built in to the lessons- Students do multiple choice or matching exercises to become familiar with words and what they mean.
Focus Attention or Gain & Direct Attention
Employ Learning Strategies or Guide or Prompt Use of Learning Strategies
Practice or Provide for and Guide Practice
• This is built in to the lessons- Students are given opportunities to write their own sentences. Ideally there would be multiple people engaged in the lessons at the same time so there would be the opportunity for peer review and feedback.
• If they want more practice, there are exercises the students can choose to do if they want to play with identifying evidence or good sentences.
Evaluate Feedback or Provide Feedback
• This is built into the lessons- there will be discussion forums where students can evaluate their peers’ work and provide feedback.
Summarize and review or Provide summary and review
• Instructors can provide learners with a summary sheet of the types of evidence or can remind students that they were provided with the sheet published by NBPTS (the ones who run the National Board process).
• If there are forums, the instructor can ask students to post a self-reflection or words of advice for other candidates based on what they learned by doing these exercises.
Transfer learning or Enhance transfer
• Instructor can share with learners the common aspects of all portfolio categories/subjects
Remotivate and Close or Provide Remediation and Closure
• Instructor can let learners know they are welcome to come back to refresh their memories or to get a reminder of how they want to write when they get stuck in the writing process.
Assess Learning or Conduct Assessment Evaluate
• Instructors should ask students to take the survey provided at the end that will evaluate the way the lessons were written. In addition students will be asked to reflect on what they learned by going through the evidence process.
Feedback and Seek Remediation or Provide Feedback and Remediation
• If learners are not already enrolled in a formal support group, they can enroll in a NBC training program through National University.