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EDTECH 523 Module 6 Reflection

Module 6 is where we teamed up with a partner to plan a live presentation for our peers using the Adobe Connect software. This is the reflection I wrote after Bret and I did our presentation, which was a fantastic experience.

Module 6 reflection

The readings and how they are reflected in our presentation:

Chapter 5 of the book was my favorite chapter. Even though Bret and I scoured through chapter 6 figuring out what type of interaction was possible and feasible, chapter 5 contained stuff that had tangible meaning for me at this time. In our presentation I played the role of behind the scenes host. I tried to calm people’s worries if they were expressed in the chat area during the presentation. I made it to one of the breakout rooms to help them get started with their conversation and let them know that they were doing great by writing on the notes screen. I also let them know they could use audio and video cams in the breakout room without bothering others. Before we pulled people out of the rooms, we sent the 20 sec warning that you were going to have your reality change. For the anticipated review of what went on in the groups, I pulled up the notes screens so they could be seen by everybody and therefore not be left out of any discussion. We also planned for a parting gift, which apparently did not download for some people. I have no clue why that didn’t work because we put the documents in there correctly. I also hope that some people get to take the survey so they can see what a Google form can do and if they use the links at the end of the form, they can view the data as it comes in. I was glad to see some welcomed the idea of having a “parting gift.”

I did not get to enact all that was suggested in chapter 5, in part because I was not a solo presenter. Also, since we were doing a round-robin of classroom jumping, there really was not a way to be prepared enough to welcome people as they entered. I understand that it was difficult to get people in as guests and Bret and I learned that barrier early on. I think this is why he came in our room as a guest and had me turn him into a host. Somehow everybody was turned into a host so it did not matter that Bret did not enter as a presenter/host. In some ways, the software is too friendly by putting a cookie in our machine and not making us re-register for each room. That is why I used my Mac when I was a participant and my PC as the presenter. I anticipated quick room changes and knew I’d mess it up if I tried to enter the other rooms while using my PC because the PC is cookied. It is not reasonable to expect people to have 2 computers to do this lesson so we could not expect everybody who had already presented to be out of the presenter registration. I think that is why so many people showed up as hosts when they entered the room- their machines were cookied and it is tough to remove that status.  I guess since I spend so much time trouble shooting things because I often find them difficult to maneuver through quickly, that it proved to be an asset for me to know the Mac would work fine in the guest position.

Bret and I also used the Mac as a guest computer when we prepared for our session. Since we could not talk very clearly when we were not in the same room, it was hard for one of us to be presenter and the other to be guest when we practiced. I signed in to our room as a guest from my Mac laptop so I could see what the guests would see during the presentation. That is what taught me how the breakout rooms work. I could tell that putting ‘Mel on the Mac’ in a breakout room did not stop “her” from being a part of what was happening in the main room until the “start breakouts” button was pushed. Part of my nervousness in the beginning of our presentation was being afraid everybody would let their curiosity get the better of them and they’d move themselves out of the breakout rooms before we started them. The plan was originally to keep people as guests because we did not want them to play with stuff that was already set up to go. Fortunately we are working with adults so my fears were unnecessary. Everybody behaved themselves as perfect students and none of our tricks got messed up before they were delivered.

The backchannel- Bret and I did not necessarily see eye to eye on the backchannel, but this was not my place to be the total control freak so I went along with our main chat area being a backchannel. I don’t know if Bret has ever participated in a backchannel chat during a real presentation. I’ve actually only done it once, and that was when it was being taught to me at an ASCD presentation last year.  I wanted there to be a backchannel and a real chat area, but it would have been too chaotic in the short amount of time we had. We named it the backchannel anyway so people could see that if they had enough room on their screen area, they could have 2 chat windows during their presentations- one for real concerns and the other one to be social.   I am biased toward letting people use presentations as a way to make friends because sometimes not everything that is said needs to be heard.

That was another place I was not able to communicate well enough to get it into Bret that he did not need to do a lengthy introduction to what an LMS is. In our last practice he did narrow it down to maybe 2-3 min of talking, but today he went for more than 3 I would guess. I know my patience started to wane and I came close to just sending out the polls while he was talking. If you think today’s presentation was long-winded, you should have seen it during our first practices. I respect Bret because he wanted people to learn something during our presentation and he really is an expert on today’s talk. That is one reason we did this topic; it is relevant to what we may do as teachers and Bret had to do something similar for people in his district. Plus it had so many components that let us expand it in ways that let us play with Adobe Connect.

Bret did a fantastic job of outlining our expectations and establishing the norms for our session. You may have noticed that he built it in to the beginning of the PPT slides. He designed the presentation slides and let me go crazy with Adobe Connect bells and whistles. We somewhat followed the suggestions given starting on page 84 where there is one main person up front and someone else behind the scenes. I did not do all of the logistics alone; Bret helped with setting up the 4 types of polls and how to space everything so it would be ready to be used when we needed it to be there. I took care of naming things in a way that would make sense to us and others, putting the exit survey in a website link pod, uploading files for the file share, and creating the exit survey in Google Forms. Since I bought the eLearning suite when I was taking 521 I wanted to play as much as I could with the software. For some reason I could not get Bret’s slides to upload correctly so he did a screen share for our presentation instead of it being a file he used from the EDTECH servers.  It would actually be really cool if the eLearning suite was required instead of the other CS5 suite because then we could possibly have lessons on how to use Adobe Captivate. I’ve only played with it once, but that is something that would be an asset to know how to use for online teaching. Dreamweaver , Flash, and Photoshop are also a part of the eLearning Suite so if you get to make suggestions to the department, you would not be too out of line if you suggested having the department use the eLearning suite in the future.

Other people’s presentations:

Even though I tried to follow advice and looked at other people’s eval tools when I revised mine for tonight, I found what I thought was important was somewhat tangential to what happened. Since the presentations went so fast and I did not want to take time to watch the recordings, I had lots of gaps in my evaluation forms. Regardless of what it seems I did not learn, I found these things to be new to me and very useful:

  • Students writing on whiteboards. I knew it could be done, but had not experienced it myself in Adobe Connect yet. Actually I don’t know if I knew there could be interactive whiteboards in Adobe Connect. Had I known, we may have set up a whiteboard for each breakout room instead of using notes windows to record student interactions.
  • Students could format their notes screens. When we pulled up the Notes screen for group 1, they had done some formatting. That was so cool. I don’t know if anybody else noticed it, but it was neat to learn that students could take ownership of some of their output if Notes pods were used for collaboration.
  • I am still not sure what Adam did so we could move things on the whiteboard. I may have to email him to see if he can tell me. Adam did the music lesson, didn’t he?
  • I liked Barry’s equations on the board. I had not thought of being able to pre-arrange whiteboards for each student until I thought about how to use what he did in his lesson. I do not expect you have had a chance to read my feedback to him yet so I will also mention it here. If I knew who my students were that were going to show up, I could create a whiteboard for each student. They come to class and put up a problem on their whiteboard while they wait for others to arrive. Another way of doing it could be to “seed” the whiteboards with problems and assign the whiteboards to students as they arrive. They would put up their work so they could explain it to the rest of the class during the session.
  • This sort-of ties in with what Janette and Earl did with the chat windows. Even though we followed directions and only wrote on the chat screen we were assigned to, I wonder if they could have been set up to be pre-assigned to students and restricted from others being able to write on them.   I had not thought of using chat windows as a way to run small discussions. Watching that process was very useful.
  • I liked how Chioma used the chat window for formative assessment- she kept us alert because she was asking questions that required feedback. Even though I was a little disoriented because her Adobe Connect window would not open on the Mac at first, I found her technique to be effective. It was quick and she could use online learner cues (p.82) to gauge participant interest.
  • Travis and Kirkland were very creative by having a game be the final assessment. I also found it interesting how they assumed everybody should know how to do a screen-shot. Is that the level of our online students? Do they know all of these techniques?  If I did not have Snag-It I would be at a loss for how to do screen shots and actually use them.

The only problem I had with the presentations, other than them going at a pace that was a bit too fast for me to be comfortable with the changing scenery, was that there were not enough of them. I thought we were excluded from the rest of the spreadsheet because we were not welcome in other sessions so I did not try to be a part of them. Now that I see how talented my peers are, I wish I had been. I learned something from everybody today. It did not matter if their presentation had been memorized, polished, perfect or not, everybody offered something unique that let me walk away with more than I had arrived with in my bag of tricks. Thank you for this opportunity.

Reflect on assessment of learning outcomes in online environments. Consider the following questions in your reflection:

  1. What are appropriate assessment strategies in synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods?

I think formative assessment is more readily done in synchronous sessions because the feedback is instantaneous. It could be done asynchrously, but the instructor won’t know what the students are thinking until the student remembered to turn in his/her assessment.

In both cases, written assessment where students analyze something can be effectively done.

  1. Does this look different than assessment in traditional classrooms? How and why?

I think it looks somewhat different online than in a traditional classroom because students who are afraid to volunteer an answer in the classroom will often speak up online. Even today, everybody participated in Chioma’s questions. She did not call on single students like what normally happens in the traditional classroom.  This is one reason I want to be an online teacher and enjoy being an online student. I hate answering questions in verbal face to face discussions, but as you have seen, I am quite prolific online. I know I am not unique so I wanted to used online discussions to compliment the ones we did face to face. Once again, I assert that hybrid instruction is optimal because the learning environments are diverse and can cater to the diversity of our learners.

Social Media Guidelines

Social Media Guidelines

Setting: I work for an online school that does not have formal discussion groups built into the curriculum.  The students are, for the most part, independent learners. I hold office hours, but few students ever come. What if I was to set up a place where we can do online discussions or collaborations on the projects?  Of course, I would have to get the consent from my company to do it if I did it as their employee.  So these guidelines are written with the idea students are engaged in the social network that involves our class. These are kids who are already doing work via the computer so wherever they are, be it at home or at school, there are already policies in place that govern tech use.

  1. Netiquette matters.
  2. You do not have to post your real name to the forums, but you do need to tell your instructor what name you are using as your screen name in the discussions.
  3. You may create an avatar and use it instead of your photograph.
  4. Do not assume the forums are safe- the forum is open to any student who is taking our class, but that does not mean Ms Getz knows everybody personally.
  5. Be careful about what personal information you share with others. Do not give out your social security number, passwords, or any other information that could potentially lead to identity theft. Also be careful of giving out your residential address, especially if you also mention that your family is going on a vacation.
  6. Be punctual with your responses to other people’s questions.  If you know of a solution, say it.
  7. Choose your words wisely. If you are frustrated, you may want to write about your frustrations offline and not immediately write them into the forum.
  8. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation should follow academic structure and language.
  9. You may link to anywhere on the web that is a legal website for minors, to help explain your ideas.
  10. You may post or upload any documents or images to help explain your ideas, just make sure you are using a machine that has anti-virus software. Some exceptions apply- see restrictions below.
  11. When we have formal discussions, your first post must be from your own point of view and must be posted within three days of the question being released. You will then have another 3 days to respond to one other person’s post, and an additional 3 days to have responded to at least a second person’s post or to reply back to the first person with whom you created a discussion.
  12. If you post something in a “help needed forum” and do not get any response within 24 hours from anybody, you are encouraged to tweet us.  Hashtag to be given out at the time these rules go into place- it may be unique per section.
  13. You should monitor our hashtag channel in Twitter continuously for messages from your peers.
  14. You may not post any answers to any questions on any tests or quizzes. You may discuss the concepts on the tests or quizzes, but you may not release any actual questions or flat out give any answers.
  15. If we are doing projects, you may not upload or link to your code online. You can share your fla files with your instructor, but not your peers. You can post or upload the swf file so we can see what is happening, but we don’t want students to literally be able to copy each other’s’ code.

What we’ll be doing outside of our normal classroom management system software:

    1. Discussion forums
      1. Based on concepts brought up in the course material
      2. Based on your own questions
      3. Based on real-life applications of what you are doing in the class
      4. Setting up rooms so students can asynchronously work on projects together.
      5. Oops, look what I did! …. And what I learned….
  1. I will post reminders about some projects. Since everybody is on their own schedule, you will have to rely on your individual calendar for due dates.
  2. Tweeting links to information that is useful for our content or projects.
  3. Arranging for G+ Hangouts or meetings in our Blackboard room so you can collaborate on group projects simultaneously.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Email Ms. Getz at with your questions, comments, or concerns. She set up a Google Form where you can give anonymous feedback.

Resources consulted:

Anderson, S. (2012) Social media guidelines. Retrieved from:

Staff. (2012). A teachers guide to social media. Retrieved from: diagram

Staff. How to create social media guidelines for your school – Introduction to the School Community. Retrieved from:

Tolisano, S. (2012). Twitter in k-8 classroom- globally connected learner. Retrieved from:

Worked Example Screencast

This was fun because I needed to create a mini-lesson for a student I’ve been working with in my day job. I decided to create a short lesson on the equations used for solving pH and pOH problems so she could get through that part of the unit. Now that I am learning in the EDTECH program how to spice things up, I added a little flair, but was very careful to not have audio conflict too much with written words. After the first slide I made a separate button for the  viewer to click if they want to hear an explanation. I felt like I was creating the narration that accompanies museum walking tours. I leave it up to the listener to decide if they want to listen or not. For students who are in an area where sound would be a problem, there is enough on the slide for them to be able to think about what they are being shown. The Articulate Storyline player also has a mute button so if they are not allowed to listen to the first slide, they can at least watch what goes on in the slide. Only the first slide has automatic narration. I also have much of the problem solving demonstrations enter in steps so that the student is aware there are steps to solving the problems. Answers do not just magically appear.

I put the video up at my website because I want people to be able to interact with it. I don’t know what is happening with our stuff on the EDTECH servers, especially when we graduate, so I might as well put this up at Embrace Challenge now. That was the link to the shockwave file. It is also available in HTML5 because Articulate is just that cool. WordPress, however is not, so I put in the long url to the swf and there is another shorter link that will hopefully take you to the presentation. My student was so cute- I had her use this the day after I made it and she said I could make money doing this. Little does she know what really amazing tutorials are already out there. I’ll be happy if somehow these can be accessible to my students.

pH and pOH equations


Coherence Analysis

bullet-point What is the Coherence Principle and its most important constraints/criteria?

Chapter 8 of the text is on applications of the Coherence Principle. The coherence principle says, “you should avoid adding any material that does not support the instructional goal” (Clark & Mayer, 2010, p. 151). Each of the other Multimedia Learning Principles complement the Coherence Principle. The Coherence Principle comes from cognitive theory that asserts too much extraneous information in a presentation is detrimental to the learner. Just as we do not want to overwhelm the eyes or ears with too much simultaneous stimulus, we don’t want to even accent our presentations with cutesy images or novel sounds. The emphasis here is on accent, not on the actual content. We can still use relevant sound and words simultaneously, especially if  it is someone reading the words on the screen. What Mayer is discouraging are sound effects that one might add to a presentation because the writer assumes the additional sound will help place the content in the viewer’s memory. In contrast, this extra sound may be distracting and cause the viewer to miss something that s/he should have stored in the brain. Either content that should have been acquired was not, or what was acquired got jumbled in the storage process.

Another reason offering what may seem like random images or noises for the learner to process has a negative impact on learning is that the wrong prior knowledge may be triggered. I had never thought about there possibly being wrong prior knowledge. I routinely hear how we are supposed to connect the current lesson to prior knowledge so the new stuff has something to attach to. The idea being prior knowledge is the scaffold and the new stuff needs to find a niche in which to reside. How can there be bad prior knowledge? Could it be a picture is used to accent a lesson, but it does not actually have to be there for the lesson to be effective, however because it is there, the students’ attention is focused on something irrelevant to the topic they are supposed to learn. For example, what if a puppy is used to point out something and this causes the student to spend time thinking about how much they miss their puppy instead of the content the puppy has pointed out? I suppose in this case the wrong kind of prior knowledge could be triggered.

bullet-point  Describe and/or include one example of successful and one example of unsuccessful attempts to apply the Coherence Principle in actual instruction and training you have experienced…

Successful attempt:

I recently went through training where every visual instruction was accompanied by an audio version that went at a pace that could match the speed with which I was reading the words.

For an unsuccessful attempt:

In the past, I have worked with students of all ages in a scripted curriculum that was originally designed to be in books. It is now on a computer screen. They have not changed all of the formatting on the computer screen so that it can behave with the advantages of being on a computer screen. The curriculum is very poorly organized and sometimes they use images in locations to accent the lesson, but the images have nothing to do with the lesson. I’m thinking about one lesson that is about specific letters of the alphabet and in the middle of one section there is an artistic alphabet. I would say 9/10 students who do that lesson think the image is to be used to answer the question. It is not supposed to be used for the answer; it is not a part of the question. Students waste time trying to decipher the artwork instead of focusing on what the lesson is trying to teach them. This is an example of when a learning environment would be better served by having less clutter on the page.


Discuss the relationship of the Coherence Principle to other Multimedia Learning Principles examined thus far in your readings.

Both of this week’s articles, as well as our textbook, elaborate on Multimedia Leaning Principles (Clark & Mayer, 2010; Mayer, 1999; Moreno & Mayer, 2000). The articles have mini-explanations of some of the principles Clark and Mayer included in their book such as:  The Split-Attention Principle, The Modality Principle, The Redundancy Principle, the Spatial Contiguity Principle, and the Temporal Contiguity Principle.

The Split-Attention Principle: “Students learn better when the instructional material does not require them to split their attention between multiple sources of mutually referring information” (Moreno & Mayer, 2000). What this means is if there is an image and you want students to read things on the image, don’t have sound that is going to distract them. If you are going to have a vocal explanation, don’t clutter the image with written words that will compete with the audio file.

The Modality Principle: “Students learn better when the verbal information is presented auditorily as speech rather than visually as on-screen text both for concurrent and sequential presentations” (Moreno & Mayer, 2000). This is similar to the split-attention principle because it is talking about having the learners’ attention being overtaxed by too much information at once. The Coherence Principle stresses keeping out stuff that may interfere with the learning. Here it means that you want to let the student focus on one input at a time unless they can complement each other. Allow the students to hear words while they watch an animation the words are explaining. Don’t ask students to read words at the same time they should be watching an animation.

The Redundancy Principle: “Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation, narration, and text if the visual information is presented simultaneously to the verbal information” (Moreno & Mayer, 2000). Again this is strongly aligned with the Coherence Principle- the redundant information, the extra stuff that does not have to be presented, should not be included. It is overkill to have animation, narration, and text to complement the narration happening all at the same time. Like with the modality principle- allow the words to exist as auditory input instead of visual input.

The Spatial Contiguity Principle: “Students learn better when on-screen text and visual materials are physically integrated rather than separated” (Moreno & Mayer, 2000). If there is text to go with a visual image, put them close together. Don’t make the students have to track all over the page to find the key that goes with the chart or the labels to go with a diagram. Put items of the same context within easy visual range of each other. If the students have to shift their attention away from the image to go hunting for words, there is a chance they will forget what they are looking for while they are looking for the words. Likewise, if they have to search for the image to show what the words are explaining, they may forget what they are looking for or they may find the wrong image and therefore really mix up what they were supposed to figure out from the multimedia presentation.

The Temporal Contiguity Principle: “Students learn better when verbal and visual materials are temporally synchronized rather than separated in time”  (Moreno & Mayer, 2000). Line up the closed captioning to match the words as they are spoken. Align the animation and the narration so that the narration is actually about what the students are watching on the screen at the time they are watching it. (Note: having closed captioning and audio files running simultaneously violates the redundancy principle, but if you must have both happening, then do make sure they are aligned in time.)

bullet-pointDiscuss the relationship of the Coherence Principle to fundamental theories of psychology as described by Clark & Mayer in your textbook.

Theories relating to the Coherence Principle include dual coding theory, cognitive load theory, and constructivist learning theory.  Both Clark and Mayer ,and Moreno and Mayer elaborate on how learners have limited means of grasping information. We have essentially two routes by which information can enter our brains: through our ears and through our eyes. The dual coding theory emphasizes the idea that auditory and visual information get stored in different parts of memory. We will first gather the information through the eyes and ears where it is put into sensory memory- one spot for the eyes, another for the ears. We have two locations for our initial memories that we get through two separate input channels, one verbal, the other not, thus dual load. Ideally the transition into working memory will happen and eventually some may migrate into long term memory. The cognitive load theory concerns what makes it into working memory. In working memory, we organize the information. We take the words we saw and/or heard and blend it with the images we saw to make meaning of the information.

There is a limit on how much we can store in working memory, the cognitive load, and to cram as much as we can into working memory and ideally on to long term memory, we have to construct meaning from what information we acquire (Moreno & Mayer, 2000). The constructivist learning theory covers situations where students take ownership of the information and tailor it to their own understanding of what it means. When gathering information, we want students to be able to do more with it than merely recite it back to us. We want them to make connections between what we have taught them and their prior knowledge, what they knew before they met us.


What do you personally like or dislike about this principle? Present a coherent, informed opinion and explain why you hold this opinion. Are there any limitations or qualifications of the principle (caveats) which the authors did not consider and, if so, what are they?

I am actually torn by the Coherence Principle’s stress on having relatively naked courseware and presentations. I think, though, that one thing being stressed in the book, the video that was shown in the news post for week 11, and the two articles we were asked to read, is that the “less is more” principle applies to the actual content delivery, not the content housing. By this I mean the structure of the LMS may not fall into the realm of what is covered by the Coherence Principle. If it does, then I disagree with some of it based on personal experience.

Specifically I am talking about how courses are structured in the LMS. I will use Moodle as my example because that is the format with which I am most familiar. Before taking classes with Boise State, I took a few through a CA community college online that were about teaching online. Many of our assignments involved us creating lessons in our own Moodle shell. One thing my professor, Alexis, stressed was using graphics to accent our structure. We were continuously told to find legal images we can put with each lesson section. Now we built our courses differently than how they are done here. We actually put the content in the front page and included all of the important links for each topic section. Each topic section had its own unique image or link to a video that was about that topic. For example, in 513, the week 11 topic area which is organized by date, April 1 – April 8, has a blue icon image that matches all of the other icon images in the topic headers for the course. They are so generic, they fade into the background and do not distract from any of the content on the page. This is consistent with how Mayer would want images to be- seen but not noticed. The way I learned to set up courses before Boise State is that the video we found in this week’s news announcement would be what is in our topic area header. That video would be embedded into the front page in the area for this week’s topic. Ideally the embed code would be set so that the video does not automatically start when the page loads. Or perhaps an image of the video would load, but not the actual video, so that it does not take too long for the entire front page to load.

I think my point is that I was taught to spice up the front page of the course with graphics, images, embedded videos, or other things that were not pure text. It seems like the philosophy here at Boise State is to do linear text that is akin to webpages. I am not a fan of it because of the experience I’ve had with the Moodle book plug-in. I love the Moodle book plug-in, but I don’t think it has been upgraded to work seamlessly with Moodle 2.3. It is from the days of Moodle 1.9. The way the courses are structured at BSU are actually difficult for me to deal with because of my learning issues. Now that I’ve been doing this for about two years, I am used to how things are structured. I don’t like it, but I’ve figured out how to adapt.

I like having the added junk in the courses I take, especially if it helps me discern one topic from another. I am oblivious to the obvious. I overlook things that other people pick up on immediately. I have monocular double vision so I tend to gloss over lots of things unless I have to really focus and give it my attention. For people like me, having a large obnoxious image or video indicating what my topic is about actually helps ground me in my physical location in a course.

The coherence principle, however, has not emphasized course structures as much as it emphasizes the actual learning parts. It wants us to highly monitor what we present to learners at the time they are supposed to be learning content. In that respect, I am in complete agreement with the evidence Mayer has presented in his papers and the chapter.



Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2010). E-learning and the science of instruction, 3rd edition. Pfeiffer: San Francisco, CA.

Mayer, R. E. (1999). Multimedia aids to problem- solving transfer. International Journal of Education Research. 31 (7), 611-623.

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2000). A learner-centered approach to multimedia explanations: Deriving instructional design principles from cognitive theory. Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer-Enhanced Learning, 2(2), 2004-07.


Instructionl Design Project

This link goes to a copy of the Instructional Design Project submitted for the EDTECH 503 class, summer 2011.

MGetz_FinalIDP_Summer2011 (pdf portfolio)

Final project in Word (in Google Drive)

I was trying to come up with a way to help Advanced Candidates for the NBCT process see what their writing contained or was missing. I still want to somehow help Advanced Candidates, but got so involved with other things that I have unfortunately let this idea slip onto that list of things I really want to do.