About Me

Hi and welcome to my blog!
My name is Debbie Morris.
I am currently a Career Technology Coordinator
at our local high school. I am a Walden University
student. This blog was created as part of my
coursework for Walden University. I hope you
enjoy my blog!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Module 4

Module 4: July 28th

The ongoing growth of the Internet for teaching and learning will likely continue to raise networks as a prominent means of representing knowledge and the learning process (Siemens, 2008).  We are certainly observing this in our present educational arena.  Society has recently shifted from the total face to face classroom setting to incorporating online distant education with comfort.  Distant education is growing rapidly and tools have been created to assist these learners.  Some of these tools were first introduced as a social means of communication.  Educational institutions have transferred many of these tools into the classroom in order to provide a means for collaboration and communication.
Collaboration tools that are now being used are blogs, wikis, virtual communities, and chat forums.  Tools such as these provide students with a means of creating dialogue and sharing information.  Collaboration between students expands the boundaries of knowledge being shared by professors and students. Very often a student’s greatest academic gain is obtained from the student to student communication process.
 The internet has caused a power shift in classrooms, as learners now have greater access to information, experts, and peer learners (Siemens, 2008).  Communication is essential in the distant education classroom.  Email, Skype, Discussion Boards, and Twitter allow communication lines to flow smoothly between the professor and student and between students.  It is essential for everyone to participate in the communication process.  Clarification of assignments, posting, and responses are most important and should be completed in order for distant education to be successful.
The Internet provides access to a wealth of information.  There are many different tools that provide the “transportation” to this wealth of information.  Search engines, software, Moodle, Blackboard, Web page, and podcasting are resources that allow you to search many different topics.  A student must note the importance of carefully selecting the correct tool to use when searching for data (Durrington, Berryhill, and Swafford, 2006).


Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environmentCollege Teaching, 54(1), 190−193.  Academic Search Premier database; Accession Number: 19754742

Siemens, G. (2008, January). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. ITForum. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Assessing Collaborative Efforts
Module 3 assignment    July 13, 2011

In looking at the many types of learning environments, including face to face and distant learning, the majority of assessment and evaluation should be completed by the instructor.  Guidelines are beneficial for both the student and instructor.  These guidelines are made clear through the use of a syllabus and rubrics.  Rubrics are an effective tool and give accurate assessment (Palloff & Praff, 2005).  Rubrics provide an outline of what is expected, give students expectations and allow them to self evaluate their work (Palloff & Praff, 2005).  I find a rubric very helpful and use it as a check off when self evaluating my work.  Although the majority of the assessment process comes from the instructor, a student is continuously evaluating their own work.  Also, students benefit greatly by having a peer review their work. George Siemens, (Laureate Education, 2008)  includes peer assessment in his assessment model for the collaborative learning environment.  I personally prefer implementing peer review rather than peer evaluation.  I find it very difficult to evaluate my peers.  This is especially difficult when the work is unclear and difficult for most of the class.  As a classroom teacher, I thoroughly enjoy using peer review.  I see students growing in their academic skills, learning the material, increasing expression skills and social skills.  Students provide valuable feedback for one another during review sessions.   However, I look at peer evaluation as something totally different.  I feel the instructor is in the best position to evaluate student’s work for a grade.

Online communities and learning environments have common goals and work together in reaching these goals.  This is basically how the majority of corporate life works.  I do have to recognize that some students really work better alone.  I find this to be the case in any type of learning environment.  Some people just function better when working alone.  We are all unique and different.  As a classroom teacher, if a student asks to work alone on a project, I usually allow this.  Instructors in a face to face classroom setting have an advantage in that they know the personalities of their students and are able to answer immediate questions and provide feedback right away. 

Online communities have to be assessed individually and as a group.  Instructors have to consider factors such as students completing post on time, discussions and responses to classmates.  They must investigate if an individual student was not able to complete an assignment due to a classmate’s late response or lack of input.  This is why communication is so important not just between students, but between students and instructors.  Students in online classes need to have a sense of trust and open communication with their instructors.  Curt Walden (Walden 2010) post in his blog that an assessment plan should take into consideration the individual differences in student’s abilities.  He states that instructors have to guard against stonewalling (“I missed the bus” or “The dog ate my laptop”) tactics.

A learning community’s communication and sense of trust is very important to all members.  Each member has to work toward their common goal.   In any group whether it is face to face or online, different roles will be played out by members of the community.   Lack of understanding assignments is sometimes the cause of a member’s inattentiveness.  Members should inquire about this with the team member.  If this is unsuccessful, the team should bring the difficulty to the attention of the instructor.  

Palloff  and Pratt (2005) explain how small groups are more effective.  This is true in both face to face and online communities.  Groups seem to work better when they are made up of less than five members.  Larger learning communities tend to make some members distant and non contributors to the team.


 Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2008). Assessment of Collaborative Learning [Video program]. Available from  http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=5260640&Survey=1&47=7338982&ClientNodeID=984645&coursenav=1&bhcp=1

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating Online Learning Together in Community. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Walden, C. (2010).  Collaborative Learning Assessment [Web Blog Post].

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Plagiarism Storyboard

Debra Morris
Walden University
July 9, 2011

·         Introduction:  (1 min 30 seconds)
The introduction of this video presentation will begin with me fading in before and after a small video clip (Timothy’s testimony)
I will say… “If you don’t think plagiarism is a serious issue in today’s educational world, just ask Timothy.  Listen to his testimony that follows.
After Timothy’s testimony, I will follow up with a comment (fading in) of my points.

·         Plagiarism Defined (30 seconds)
This section will begin with a brief drama defining plagiarism.
1.       Theft of words
2.      Purchase of words

·         Why we commit plagiarism (1 minute)
I will begin here with me discussing the differences of how plagiarism was committed yesterday and today.  Next, a student will be interviewed and questioned as to why he commits plagiarism.

·         How the student and teacher can prevent plagiarism (1 min)
We will observe through this video clip the steps one college student takes to prevent plagiarism, followed by a skit showing a teacher in elementary school teaching young learners about plagiarism and how not to fall into the traps of plagiarism.  Next, the skit will move on to a college instructor evaluating a paper submitted online by a student.

·         Consequences (1 min)
This clip will be an interview with a group of college students concerning accusations made against them concerning plagiarism crime.

·         Conclusion (1 min)
I will review the main points brought in this video clip along with expressions of appreciation for my actors.