EdTech 505 – Post 5C

In my personal reflection of doing my final evaluation project, I learned to develop a process to collect information on how to do my instructions using video chat. During my project, I worked on organizing my data and recording the information, reviewing the immediate results of my instructions, documenting what activities were needed to complete the project, and reviewing what the outcome of my instructions were with my test subjects. Although the time on this project would have been extensive, the short term output of the project allowed me to see how the behaviors of my test subjects resulted after having the lessons to develop a skill set. I realized I had to make some modifications in my project to allow other software users to communicate with me online. In my formative evaluation, I had presented to my learners what type of performance objectives I wanted him or her to accomplish. My learners, armed with this knowledge, were able to understand the instructional strategies, what materials were provided, and perform criterion-referenced standards tests at the end of my project. While it is possible that my learners were able to earn a “passing score”, one of my test subjects did not do well on my project. During my feedback from my test subject, I was able to draw a conclusion that the quantitative and qualitative instruction was done well, but the time to commit to the project was overwhelming for my test subject. If I had performed the instructions at an earlier time or later time that was not during holidays, I would have been more confident that my test subject would have fared better.

The delivery of my instructions was done on a one to one basis, using video chat. When I asked for feedback, the areas that I focused on were hand gestures, eye contact, and visual aids. I had to make an extemporaneous visual communication to emphasize the purpose of my lessons. At the end of my instructions, I was able to provide feedback to my stakeholders, indicating what level he or she scored after learning the project. I had encouraged my students to continue learning basic sign language and that I would be available at any time after the initial course of my final project to promote continuous learning using video chat.

EdTech 505 Evaluation Progress Report – Post 5B

During my research and study of using rich media to teach basic sign language, I’ve have been working with friends and family to download either Skype or ooVoo software tool. For the older generation, the challenge was to understand each detail of downloading ooVoo or Skype onto his or her personal computer or laptop. Some were hesitant that he or she may download a virus on to his or her computer. Others felt technically challenge to determine which was the ‘Enter’ button compared to what to look for on screen. The younger generation seemed familiar with social media and more motivated to see friends online, regardless if he or she will be learning basic sign language.

This type of technology tool requires a webcam, a minimum of 128 KB connection speed, and a headset or speakers and microphone if wanted. The internet connection for most off-campus students or at home learners will at the cost of the internet , i.e. cable, DSL, or dial-up. Both software tools were compatible to Windows and Mac. The evaluation goal is that learners will successfully download either ooVoo or Skype and learn basic sign language by viewing visual media and text chat. The short term objective for the learners is to independently learn basic sign language, via visual video chat, and respond back to me, the instructor. The criterion is to be available online to communicate with me online. The evaluation procedure will be observation and ‘print screen’ shots to show how learners are learning basic sign language. The time frame is within three weeks, due to downloading software and commencing communication via online.

When attempting to collect data from friends and family, the frustration I have seemed to run into was inconsistencies of time frame. When going online at a scheduled time, the end user that I was attempting to commence communication with was not available. I resorted to sending an email and a Blackberry text to family and friends to ask about the time scheduled to be online. What I have learned through this ordeal was to send a reminder email the night before and one hour before meeting with the end user at a specific time frame. This seemed to make the demonstration go more efficiently.

The data collection that I am doing is what am I teaching. Downloading software tools to learn basic sign language. What is the best way to deliver this teaching method? Using rich media such as Skype or ooVoo, via online. How many students/stakeholders do I have? I have eight participants that consist of family members and friends. What is the difference between traditional and online teaching? Traditional consisted of brick and mortar classrooms where learners were required to show up to class, purchase the required materials for learning sign language, and participate 100% fully to gain the understanding of visual sign language. Online teaching gives the learner the flexibility to learn basic sign language in a social mediated format anywhere, any time, any place.

The remaining project for my paper is to complete my Discussion of Results, Conclusions and Recommendations, finalizing my Appendices, and wrapping up my overall paper to ensure that it flows.

EdTech 505 – Post 5A

Working on my original submittable Forum 03 on the project called “ASL as a Required Course”, has been challenging and frustrating for me. My general idea was to make American Sign Language a required course in general studies at most colleges and universities for the foreign language course credit. Then I did a preliminary research with friends, some students at the BSU campus, and family members about my topic. Most discussions were surrounded to the fact that American Sign Language was not a needed foreign language, but more of a elective language because communicating with the deaf or other was limited or the disadvantage group was a minority, whereas other foreign languages would be a high demand for bilingual studies for targeted jobs. My professor guided me to explore how every person should speak a second language, as much as understanding basic sign language. Some of the questions posed to me was who will I be evaluating, what is the goal of my evaluation project, who are the stakeholders, and how will I collect real data, and from whom.

This posed a challenging project for me, as I wanted to narrow down my focus and work on my project effectively. I explored further and the key ingredient that my professor guided me to understand was to focus on evaluating basic sign language. How would I go about teaching basic sign language, using rich media? The primary goal was to help my targeted audience understand that basic sign language is cross-linguistic, meaning that facial and body language plays a huge part in communicating visually. Who would be my targeted audience? I have chosen a few friends and family members to test this evaluation project, which would include using Skype or GoogleApps to visually see me teach basic sign language and to see text messaging as supporting text to explain the visual action. I will be evaluating friends and family members to see if he or she understands the visual concept of basic sign. My plan is to collect real data from a Survey Monkey to assess friends and family based on what his or her level of comfort is in learning basic sign language.

The problem analysis would be a Criterion Referenced measurement to determine if my targeted audience has mastered a level of basic sign language. The design aspect would be Skype or Google Apps so that I can visually see my targeted audience and vice versa. The message design will be psychomotor, where my targeted audience will relate to movement and associate with mental process. The instructional strategies will arrange a time to meet with the learner online via Skype or Google Apps, commence communication via text and proceed with visual manipulation of sign language. The learner characteristics vary, from on-campus faculty, family members, and friends who are not familiar with basic sign language. The outcome is to assess the learners to determine how well learning basic sign online was effective.

Forum 04 Blog – Edtech 505

In planning my evaluation project, I researched the motives of making American Sign Language (ASL) a required course for general studies in college.  As I was doing the research in the form of interviews with friends, family, and school peers, I’ve come to the conclusion where I realized that making ASL a required course for general studies in college would not be logical and caused me to change my opinion.  What I think would be more logical is introduce a foreign language course as an entry level for general studies course.  There are several reasons why.  One strategy is studying a specific foreign language like Spanish or Mandarin that is best used based on what the learner’s major might be.  Another reason for using foreign language is because if promotes cultural diversity and awareness, whereas ASL deals with only a small minority group.  Any student that plans to have a career in international business or international contact, would be well advised to take a foreign language course in that area.
The reality of it is expanding the foreign language curriculum would promote collaboration among different job functions such as sales or public service, encourage innovation such as science or business, and promote organizational structure such as building trust among clients or customers. For example, if a 911 call was given to the dispatcher, the person on the end receiver spoke Spanish; the dispatcher could respond quickly to the call and translate to patrol officers to respond to the scene. Another example is a business manager wants to negotiate with suppliers in China and is required to go overseas to review how raw materials are acquired, manufactured, and delivered as part of the supply chain delivery. Understanding each value of the product would allow the business manager to communicate in Mandarin to order raw materials and material specifications to be delivered to the place of purchase.
Doing a preliminary evaluation, I have decided that making ASL a required course would not be cost effective in doing a full on evaluation. For example, a business major may not want to use ASL when communicating supply specifications or a dispatcher would not have the training to use TTY to communicate with a hearing impaired individual. What would make sense in making ASL a required course was if the learner’s major was in Special Education, Audiology, Medicine, or Linguistics.
The interaction with my peers has affected how I would want to design my evaluation project. I would have to modify my foreign language evaluation. The concept is to focus on how entry level college students can earn college credit for foreign language studies. The foreign language proficiencies can range from poor to excellent. This can be started with prior learning assessment. The prior learning assessment can determine what level the college student is at and it must be an element towards the Associate or Bachelor degree. For example, if the entry level student is studying Business Economics, a foreign language of his or her choosing would provide him or her language skills for the country or business he or she is applying for. The Foreign Language Evaluation can be categorized as Advance, Medium, and Low. Advance can be that the student can read, write, and speak a foreign language in areas of reports, summaries, research papers, and provide speeches that show good grammatical structure and wide range of vocabulary. Medium can be evaluated based on understanding the principles of the language, uses primary structure of the language, and demonstrate general concept in speeches. Low can be evaluated based on barely meeting the needs of foreign language vocabulary, language structure is not substantive, and speeches are incoherent. In the end, learning a foreign language would promote new employment opportunities for the undergraduate.

EdTech 505 Blog III

This week, I delved deeper into the Evaluation Test and getting in touch with my “visual” metaphor.  The Evaluation Test was a greater challenge to learn how to create, play, and insert pictures, word.doc’s, and adding text in GoogleDocs.  My goal based plan was to learn the technology before applying my knowledge to technology.  While I had fun learning the basics of applying technology, putting together the Evaluation Test slides was a bigger challenge.  I wanted to state my purpose of why evaluation would be important to me if I were ever an educational technologist.  If I were ever an educational technologist, I would want my students to understand the basic of technology, after all…it’s better to understand the tool before applying the tool, right?  Second, using a “visual” metaphor helps learners to see before doing.  When creating a mental picture of collecting and analyzing data to determine which direction your objectives are, evaluation becomes an everyday life activity of making decisions.  Third, when evaluating efficiency, effectiveness, and impact, you have a goal in mind.  The goal would be to understand what is the need to evaluate.  Usually the goal is the end results or impact.  When collecting and analyzing data, the information will either be quantitative or qualitative.  If the test on data is consistently valid and continuous, then it is reliable.  If data was tested only to prove its desired results, then it is valid.  Validity only shows that the test or measurement has to be accurate before the outcome can be accurate.

The question that asked was what was my opinion about the use of visual metaphor to reinforce my learning.  Well, it has been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, seeing a picture and creating a mental activity gets the creativity juices flowing in the mind.  For instance, a magnifying glass looking at “data” creates a mental activity of what are you going to do with that data?  Are you going to evaluate it?  Are you going to research it?  The visual metaphor is a target of what you are going to learn.

EdTech 505 Blog II

EdTech 505 Reflective Blog Posting – Posting II
Reading Chapter 8 in the book of The ABC’s of Evaluation, by Boulmetis and Dutwin really illuminated my mind about the difference between evaluation and research. It is an everyday process that I do to research various things, from researching which kind of toothpaste to use, to examining which toothpaste that the Dental Association recommends. Evaluation takes a different turn that I have to determine if cavities are the results of the conclusion I have made about the best use of toothpaste.
This is only an illustration of how I learned the difference between evaluation and research. In the educational forum, evaluation can be critical to help instructional designers determine which program or project is best for learners to use or how to efficient the program is. To develop the skills in evaluating the program, tools are needed to be successful. I learned that by performing interviews, questions, looking at data, understanding data, determining how data is used, and making decisions on how, what, and where to use data and provide the conclusion – this provides creditability as an evaluator that has done a thorough investigation on how the data is used and reported.
The Glossary Assignment challenged me to look at the specialist terms, what the meanings are, and how I could apply the terms to my everyday learning and life skills.

EdTech 505 Reflective Blog Postings – Week 1

During my first week in EdTech 505, I learned how to use GoogleDocs by sharing my folder and documents with my professor. I examined the first three chapters of The ABCs of Evaluation, written by Boulmetis and Dutwin.   I explored what an evaluation is. I summarized it as a process to collect data, analyze the data to determine its value and content.  I explored why evaluate and how to effectively evaluate?  Depending on the context, effectively evaluating is an art.  Searching for clues to give me a better idea of what action to take.

What action is that?  This depends on what I am evaluating.  When designing an evaluation, I would need to determine what is the purpose for the evaluation, what information is intended to whom, what information is needed, and what audience am I targeting.

For example, if I wanted to determine the reason for my evaluation like how well a trainee was learning.  I would want to determine who would be doing the evaluation.  As a trainer, I would nominate myself to do the evaluation and to  collect data.  Then I would determine what type of instrument to use, like how many tests were taken, how well the trainee scored on the tests, and what was the trainee’s understanding of the program.  After the evaluation tools have been put in place, I would initiate the evaluation.  Then I would want to present the  justifications for evaluating the trainee, and if there are any further training needed.  I would want to know if my training techniques has helped the trainee or not.  I would need to evaluate the impact of my training program to identify a need that the trainee  may or may not be receiving.

By collecting specific data and other information to analyze, this would allow me to make conclusions and finally make decisions on which direction to take.  That decision can be to either eliminate the training program or to upgrade the training program.

The next topic I would like to explore is how to make accurate decisions based on the data given.