In fact, I posted this piece of reflection on Sunday, November 11, 2012. However, there was some problem with posting, the posting was not according to my expectations. Therefore, I re-typed it and re-posted it. The content is the same, I did not change it. I request to consider it as posted on Sunday, November 11, 2012.instead on Monday, November 12, 2012.
This week I suffered through a lot of labor pain, but the outcome is amazing.
When I was teaching my internship students in Canada, I used Blackboard as an LMS. I had to use some assessment features that were built on Blackboard. Through which I was able to construct different question types. The real charm of these assessments tools was that they provided me an opportunity of sending immediate feedback to my students. When they were graded automatically and scores were logged into the online Grade Center, it helped me a lot as I was teaching a large class, and it was really impossible to assess, grade and send feedback immediately. This helped me a lot to assess student knowledge, estimate student progress, and keep in touch with them continuously.
Blackboard never lets you down. It means that if you miss something to share or inform with the students, never mind. While teaching large classes, I missed few things to be informed to them. Often, there were many sudden developments that were to be informed to the students immediately. I kept on posting so many announcements so that they were in the know of everything We teachers can play a very safe role here; no students can escape from any commitment as everything remains posted on Blackboard provided any announcement might have been posted as date restricted. Students can send their assignments through Blackboard and the teacher can post them back after assessment. Their grades are always there is front of their eyes, so no confusion regarding what they scored in a particular assignment. If they have any doubts or queries they can post communicate them to us through Blackboard. That really makes everything student centered.
In addition to this, it was mandatory to use online MyFoundationlab exercises through an online vendor named Pearson. It was a fabulous online tool. Everything was teach - based and automatic: starting from registration to final assessment. If it had not been tech-based and automatic, it would have been impossible for us to track academic progress of so many students. My only duty was to constantly watch their progress, motivate them if they are not performing according to set time line, guide them if they have any confusion, doubts or queries, and finally to grade them based upon their online grades displayed at the end of the whole online course completion. It was a hybrid course including both in-class and on-line components.
Overhead projectors are an immense help to conduct or manage large classes. Everything can be projected on the board through teacher computer and projector including PPT. A large audience can see it, message is audio-visually conveyed to all efficiently, it can motivate the audience to raise questions and teaching can become interactive, collaborative and student centered.
PPT is the life line for all teachers whether for small or big classes. Needless to say that some variations like Prezi also can prove blessings No matter Tech - savvy or tech - immigrant, almost all teachers love PPT to present to large classes. PPT always aids teachers to address audio and visual learning styles.
Discussions and chats are those two tools through which you can access large or small classes at all times synchronously or asynchronously. They can make teaching and learning interactive, collaborative and student - centered in true sense. Here, the students are real contributors, the teacher's role is just to facilitate the proceedings and also to navigate all communications in the right direction.
I have shared my project progress in different posts.