Instructional Strategies Modules

These instructional modules are designed for use in courses for preservice and inservice teachers. 

For an overview, either click on the links below or scroll down.

For a more detailed description of each module, click on "Learning Modules" located in the left frame.

Follow these links for brief descriptions

Learning Module 1: Electronic Collaboration

Learning Module 2: Electronic Case Studies

Learning Module 3: Micro-Teaching

Learning Module 4: Professional Portfolio

Learning Module 5: Evaluating Educational Software

Learning Module 6: Technology Strategies for Engaged Learning

Learning Module 7: Capstone Experience:   Electronic presentation of course portfolio

Scrole for brief descriptions

Learning Module 1: Electronic Collaboration

Context           There are certain basic assumptions that underpin the inclusion of electronic cohort membership and electronic collaboration in teacher education courses. Besides realizing the benefits listed above for pre-service teachers, we hope you will personally consider it a vital part of your professional life to think about what it means to continue to learn in your discipline(s) and in educational theory and practice. Of course, there are many ways to do this. You could continue to take courses in your discipline. You could also continue with graduate work in education and take advantage of other experiences offered by this or other institutions. You will also find that your peers can be an incredibly valuable source of support and professional growth.

However, this is easier said than done. Many of the teachers who really value peer collaboration say that teaching is actually a very lonely profession. People are often so very busy with the day-to-day work of teaching--lesson planning, dealing with students and parents, grading and record keeping--that they don't get the time or opportunities to meet with colleagues to discuss important educational issues.

Since the lack of time is one of the major roadblocks to effective peer collaboration, any strategy to increase efficiency and facilitates collaboration seems wise. Computer technology and electronic collaboration can potentially help fill this need when time for face-to-face communication is limited or impossible. But because this technology is relatively new, it is not very clear from the literature and from the evidence we have now, exactly what form or function electronic collaboration and electronic cohort membership can and should assume. This module will provide a semester-long laboratory for experientially examining these issues.

Description     The Electronic Collaboration Module is designed for use in a subject matter methods or Instructional strategies course for preservice teachers. It provides an introduction to electronic communication and progresses through more advanced electronic strategies. It sets the stage for more advanced applications and makes the case that teachers can benefit from continued electronic collaboration. Participants begin by forming electronic cohorts and sending electronic test messages. Throughout the semester, participants will learn to thoughtfully participate in professional electronic discourse. The major goal is for participants to experientially examine the potential of electronic discourse in future professional development, service, and reflective teaching practice.

Learning Module 2: Electronic Case Studies

Context    Recently, the use of electronic case studies has gained much attention in educational literature. There are certain basic assumptions that underpin the use of electronic case studies in teacher education courses. One assumption is that teachers and pre-service teachers can learn from observing others in practice. Watching others teach can provide a springboard for discussion about what is best practice. Although electronic cases can’t replace actual on-site observation and analysis, they can provide critical observers with examples and data for analysis. It follows that watching a video or perusing a CD ROM of teaching examples must be followed by class discussion and personal and group analysis. Participants should ask questions like: What strategy or set of strategies are being used in this teaching episode? What is new here? How is this teaching different from traditional teaching? Will this method work in my situation and in other contexts? Will this strategy be as effective in rural, suburban and urban environments with students of different ethnic backgrounds? Will his strategy result in engaged student learning? Will the technology strategies and integration likely result in more engages student learning? Participants will use the Case Studies Assessment Tool to analyze each electronic case

Description    This module is designed for subject matter methods or instructional strategies courses for pre-service teachers or in-service teachers who desire a critical analysis of recent trends and issues addressed in educational literature. Participants will view a selection of electronic case studies demonstrating various strategies and trends. We will then analyze them for content and value for their anticipated or present teaching situation using a Case Studies Assessment Tool. The main goal of this module is that participants critically examine their own conceptions of what is good teaching is and then be able to apply what they learn in their own teaching practice. Participants will then use what they learn to write their own philosophy of education. We will discuss how this philosophy can and should influence teaching practice. Our focus will be on creative teaching strategies that will result in engaged student learning.

Learning Module 3: Micro-Teaching

Context    Micro-teaching provides a safe and valuable set of experiences for anyone thinking about teaching children. There are certain basic assumptions that justify micro-teaching in teacher education courses. One assumption is that teachers and pre-service teachers can learn from presenting lessons to peers and observing others in practice. Watching others teach can provide a springboard for discussion about what is best practice.

This also allows us to be consistent with a constructivist philosophy. A learner constructs knowledge experientially--we learn by actively doing and not merely listening and reporting. Consequently, learning to teach should involve active, engaged learning experiences. For example, we can best learn if our planning is effective when we try to teach others while following our own lesson plans. What we learn will also depend on careful self evaluation, peer feedback as well as evaluation from teacher educators.

Another assumption is that since we learn from experience, we should have repeated experiences. What the participant learns from the first micro-teaching experience should be reflected in the second. The second experience should also extend the first. Since technology is a current trend and issue in education, one way to do this is to incorporate or infuse technology into lesson plans and lesson delivery. This will challenge participants to explore ways to enhance and extend lessons in ways that would otherwise be more difficult or even impossible without technology.

A third assumption is that teaching should be a reflective practice. As we teach, we should constantly evaluate our own practice, learn from experience and try to improve. Self evaluation is important but so is observing peers, giving and receiving constructive feedback. Therefore, this module includes being observed, observing others, and giving and receiving constructive feedback.

Description    This module is designed for subject matter methods or instructional strategies courses for pre-service teachers or in-service teachers. Participants plan two mini-lessons and teach them to their peers. The first mini-lesson should be taught during the third week of the semester, and the other significantly later. The main goal of this module is that participants critically examine their own conceptions of what is good teaching is and then be able to apply what they learn in their own teaching practice. Our focus will be on creative teaching strategies that will result in engaged student learning.

Learning Module 4: Professional Portfolio

Context    This learning module is based on the National Teacher Certification requirements for a professional portfolio.  Participants should consider their portfolio for this class a working document that they can improve as they progress through your TE program, progress toward National Certification, and develop their professional life. This professional portfolio should include at least a paper copy of an annotated bibliography of WWW sites that individuals find very useful, a collection of lesson plans, and a list of local resources. They will then create an electronic version of this using File-maker Pro and our class template (available on disc). Each bibliography will become part of a continually evolving data base of WWW resources. Participants will have pass-word protected access to this data base in the future.

Description    This module will give participants an opportunity to develop a draft portfolio which represents their teaching philosophy, experience and best practice. Students will have the option of presenting their portfolio electronically or with more traditional methods. Either way, their portfolio should contain... and be presented to their peers for feedback purposes.

 Learning Module 5: Evaluating Educational Software

Context    Because there is increasing pressure to use computer software in their classroom, teachers find an increasing need for tools that will help them evaluate technology resources. This module is designed to help meet that need. Participants will learn to use NCREL’s computer software evaluation tool as a way to make sense of appropriate technology resources and strategies.  Participants will contribute to a community data base of software on FileMaker Pro and post on the web. Separate data bases will be created for the different subject areas.

Description    This module is designed to give prospective teachers and inservice teachers skills needed to become critical consumers of educational software. Participants will begin by finding out what software is available and what teachers have free access to in local districts (Link to Ohio School Net). They will also collect and analyze local school district technology plans. They will then discuss how a teacher should make sense of related expectations and what teachers should do with the technology resources they are expected to use. Participants will also explore the internet and other sources for software solutions and viable technology strategies.

Learning Module 6: Technology Strategies for Engaged Learning

Context    Recently, technology integration in curriculum has become one of the hottest curriculum issues in educational literature. Teachers feel pressure and have been given clear expectations to use technology in their classrooms. From the President of the United States to the leaders of local communities, have all been saying how important is is for American generations to be computer literate. Large amounts of money is being spent to place computers and software in front of students. However, it isn’t very clear to educational researchers or to classroom teachers how to best use this technology and the increasing access to technology resources to improve student learning. This module is meant to allow participants to explore these issues. The main problem is how to use technology resources and technological strategies to support improved engaged learning.

Description    This module is designed for teacher education courses, for preservice and inservice teachers who wish to explore how to best use technology resources to improve student engaged learning. Topics include: Management strategies for technology, collaboration strategies, web strategies, and using list serves. Participants will gain experience using the NCREL Pathways web site and other internet resources for analysis of available resources.

Learning Module 7: Capstone Experience:   Electronic presentation of course portfolio

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Description

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