Blackboard has rolled out a new Attendance tool, allowing instructors to easily and quickly track attendance. Using the Attendance tool will create an Attendance column in the Grade Center, which will provide an overall attendance score.
Instructors can now find the new Attendance tool by going to the Control Panel > Course Tools > Attendance.
The article focuses on the case study of one secondary History teacher and her approach to using technology in developing and supporting a socially-situated community of learners. The authors cite research suggesting teachers do not integrate technology within literacy or disciplinary curriculum at high levels (to support higher level cognitive skills, for example). They argue that to prepare students for higher education and employment, students must learn to think like scholars in the disciplines in which they study. For example, history students should be able to analyze primary documents, conduct research and synthesize information across various sources to draw conclusions. They argue that strategic and principled use of technology can support the development and maintenance of a community of learners focused on higher-level skill acquisition.
TPACK, or Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge, is a framework built on Lee Shulman’s PCK (Pedagogical Content Knowledge). TPACK suggests the incorporation of technology with pedagogical content knowledge can produce more effective teaching. The authors suggest an expansion of the TPACK framework to include a sociocultural component and use this case study as empirical evidence to support an update to the TPACK model (TPACK+). They set out to “examine how sociocultural-oriented teacher knowledge, skills and beliefs intersect with TPACK in ways that leverage digital tools to create and sustain vibrant learning communities” (Van Vaerenewyck et al, 2017). Their observations showed strong evidence supporting this updated conceptualization of TPACK. The instructor’s use of learning technologies enabled the students to engage in authentic disciplinary discourse within socially situated learning experiences. The instructor was able to create a community of learners both within and beyond the boundaries of the physical classroom. Students engaged collaboratively in sophisticated ways, demonstrating that learning can be enhanced when embedded in socially situated experiences.
The authors call for further research examining in-service teachers’ skills and knowledge in relation to technology-integrated instruction to provide additional empirical support for their claim that the TPACK framework must be expanded.
Van Vaerenewyck, L. M., Shinas, V. H., & Steckel, B. (2017). Sarah’s Story: One Teacher’s Enactment of TPACK+ in a History Classroom. Literacy Research and Instruction, 56(2), 158-175.
Is your myLesley course ready for the start of the semester? This handy list can help you make sure. Download a copy to review as you set up your course.
Announcements Have you posted a welcome announcement for you students? Is textbook information available? Learn how to send an Announcement with all your important information before the first day of class.
Are the correct point values assigned to each item in the Grade Center? Are there any grading columns that need to be added or deleted? Review how to set up and use the myLesley Grade Center.
Depending on your course and the type of activities you have, you may or may not be using the tools listed below.
Are you interested in adding more instructional technology to your course but not sure where to start? Jump into your fall teaching with a half-day learning technology bootcamp to learn how to effectively use technology in your course.
The workshop will consist of sessions on using the learning management system (Blackboard) to enhance your face-to-face course and hands-on experience with some of the technology tools you can use to enhance your course. Topics covered will include:
Using myLesley (Blackboard) to communicate with your students
Adding content to your myLesley course
Adding Video to myLesley (Kaltura)
Tuesday, August 15, 2017: 1:00-4:00 PM
University Hall, 3rd Floor
Instructors often direct students to produce assignments with very good support and guidance, such as examples of past work, a set of criteria or rubric, and detailed instructions or guiding questions. Less common is giving guidance for how students should think as they approach a task. Every discipline has a specific approach to thinking within the field . For example, historians use evidence differently than other disciplines. They must weigh evidence that leads to different interpretations of historical events. They need to learn how to identify, select and use evidence in arguments . In the study of literature, there are particular ways of analyzing literary texts. Novices (students), however; approach academic tasks differently than experts (instructors). Without specific guidance, they tend to use ways of thinking from earlier educational experiences, work or other life experiences. These approaches tend to be ill-suited for the discipline-specific, higher-level approaches required. The key challenge in teaching this type of thinking may be to make thinking visible.
Below are two examples from online courses at Lesley that use voice-over videos to model how the instructor approaches a task, focusing on the thinking that guides them. In the first video, instructor Wendy Hasenkamp shows students how to review a scientific article. This is from the course “Meditation and the Brain: Intro to Contemplative Neuroscience”. In the second video, instructor Lisa Spitz gives a detailed example of how one might work through a design challenge in the course “Typography I”, part of the new online “Design for User Experience” program.
This type of expert modeling is not the only way to support more expert-like thinking. Another example is called the “process worksheet” . This can be a simple, text-based scaffold to thinking; it provides learners with steps they need to take to solve a problem or approach a learning task. It might show a series of phases with key rules of thumb or advice for how they might approach the task.
One reason that modeling expert thinking is less common as a support for students is that we often forget how we came to be experts and, as a result, it can be difficult to tease apart the details of how we approach our disciplines. This is sometimes called “the blindness of expertise”. Once we review how we approach a task, we can begin to see details that might help guide students.
For more information about modeling expertise in teaching, please contact John McCormick: email@example.com.
 Meyer, J., & Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: Linkages to ways of thinking and practising within the disciplines (pp. 412-424). Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.
 Grim, V., Pace, D., & Shopkow, L. (2004). Learning to use evidence in the study of history. New directions for teaching and learning, 2004(98), 57-65.
 Nadolski, R. J., Kirschner, P. A., & Merriënboer, J. J. (2005). Optimizing the number of steps in learning tasks for complex skills. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 75(2), 223-237.