Long Content Project – First Draft





Instructor: Valerie Taylor

Feb 26, 2003

Student: Keith Feiring

Email: kfeiring@yahoo.com



To my fellow student,


This is a first draft of our Long Projects.  I am planning to put the finishing touches on mine over the next two weeks.  I visualize the Long Project  analogous to doing a construction project. Right now it is roughed in I see as possibilities Among the things I need to install and fix a few more things.:

·         grading rubrics and performance expectations

·         lesson expectations

·         clear explanation of how much interaction students should expect with their instructor

·         sound / voice

·         high level collaborative lesson

·         clear procedure instructions

·         especially, put together some creative lessons

Please don’t be afraid to criticize my course and tell me what I left out.    It will help me turn in a complete final proposal. I will also appreciate and look at it as your input on the course. There is a lot that is good about it and a lot that can be done to improve it.


Note About Author & Interest in Teaching

From doing in our masters program, I have been learning about myself (as well as others.)  I have learned that I function partially as a “Perceptive “ Student, as defined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators. “Perceptive students often postpone doing an assignment until the very last minute. They are not lazy. Quite to the contrary, they seek information to the very last minute (and sometimes beyond). Decomposing a complex project or paper into a series of sub-assignments and providing deadlines for each sub-assignment is recommended for this type of student. The deadlines may keep the perceptive student on target.”  I have become interested in and presently am trying to incorporate current learning theories into my own teaching with my independent study high school students.


Future use of the Long Project (after CSUH)

I plan to place this whole project on my website for future reference. The inclusion of examples of a number of learning theories, learning styles and multiple intelligences, will be beneficial to have to refer to in one place. It should be a great aid to any future course design project and it is appropriate in this project.


Thanks for doing your masters’ work with me


Academic Model – Long Content Project

My course is a  hybrid online English course designed to teach independent study students in grades 9 – 12,  the subject of English – Language Arts

Description of the Likely Learners
(including prior skills they will need, if any)

My course will be taken in a multi-grade student environment, meaning students from grades 9 – 12 will utilize this course concurrently.  Presently, these students are enrolled in an independent study program where they are taking all of their required high school courses. The way their schedule is arranged is they come to school one hour each week to meet with their teacher (me), receive and turn in assignments, take tests and discuss questions regarding all of their courses. The rest of the week they work independently at home, having no further contact with the school or their teacher. They have no opportunity for student interaction or to participate in discussions.  The limited amount of time students physically attend school, impacts on their teacher’s ability to provide lessons and other resources that could enrich their learning. The students represent a cross section of learner levels, from slow to accelerated.


Pre-Course Requirements

Students must meet certain qualifications and standards in order to participate in the course:

·         Academic standing

o        GPA

o        Star Reading Assessment

·         Faculty recommendation

·         Demonstrate sincere motivation to participate in the course

·         Ability to utilize the computer and Internet

o        Students will be tested to be able to perform tasks related to the course:

o        Access the Internet

o        Utilize Microsoft Word

o        Utilize Email

In addition students will take an orientation course where they will  learn how to locate and log on to the course web site, correspond and submit assignments via email and other things in order to participate in the course.

Learning Goals/Objectives for the unit/lesson(s) you have planned and will be developing for this Content Project.

The course will meet and exceed the school district’s basic requirements for receiving five credits in High School English.:

·         Read and report on five books

·         Prepare a variety of  essays and papers, total of fifteen

·         Complete fifteen units of vocabulary

·         Participate in the study of grammar and punctuation

Additional detailed information can be found outlined in the Course Syllabus


The course also contains the following additional objectives for the students:


·         Improve computer skills

·         Prepare for the High School English Exam

·         Interact with other students

·         Work and collaborate with other students and the instructor

·         Communicate with other students and instructor via writing.

·         Prepare for the experience of taking online classes in their future educational courses.


Part 11

Link to course







Part 3 – page down


Part III

·         Presentation of content and course design in your project would consciously be addressing and meeting the needs of your Likely Learners

·         Explain and justify the pedagogical choices of the course

·         Specific non-pedagogical design features (if included)



The learning environment must ensure that the learners are provide with a specific context, clear goals and objectives based on defined needs, and instructional strategies that reflect their needs and interests. Strategies should include problem solving, collaboration and partnering. (American Distance Education Consortium, 2001)

Content Design

Learning Theories, Learning Styles & Multiple Intelligence

I am aware that there are many theories describing Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligence. As the designer of this course, it is my objective to include content which addresses the better points of these postulates. This will be done on a best effort basis. Due to both the limitations of online Internet media and the limited time and finances of the course designer, it is impossible, at this time, to effectively create lessons that will embody a complement of these principles. However, the following theories contribute to effectively meeting the goals of the Academic Model which  “is aimed at higher levels of cognition--where the learner is required to demonstrate an understanding of ideas and concepts” (Valerie Taylor)

Conditions of Learning

My course will try to incorporate instructional events that address the Conditions of Learning as described by R. Gagne

Gain attention, identify objective, recall prior learning, present stimulus, guide learning, elicit performance, provide feedback, assess performance, enhance retention.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The design in my course will attempt to recognize “the four dimensions underlying the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI) and several teaching approaches that will appeal to different  MBTI profiles”(Harvey J. Brightman,
Georgia State University)

An example of this: In addressing the needs of the “Perceptive Student” (as defined in the MBTI profiles) large projects will be broken into smaller segments with multiple deadlines, thereby helping to keep the “Perceptive Student” up-to-date on his or her large project.

The students will receive audio tape feedback on some of their writing projects (in addition to written comments) from their instructor.


Learning Styles as presented by VARK (Neil D. Fleming, Christchurch, New Zealand and Charles C. Bonwell, Green Mountain, Colorado, USA. This)


Visual Study Strategies (V)
Aural Study Strategies (A)
Read/write Study Strategies (R)
Kinesthetic Study Strategies (K)
Multimodal Study Strategies (MM)


Multiple Intelligences (Gartner, H.)

·         Plays with works (Vernal/Linguistic)

·         Plays with questions(Logical/Mathematical)

·         Plays with pictures (Visual/Spatial)

·         Plays with music (Music/Rhythmic)

·         Plays with moving (Body/Kinesthetic)

·         Plays with socializing (Interpersonal)

·         Plays alone (Intrapersonal)


Smith and Kolb’s Learning Cycle Concept

Students learn:

10% of what they read

20% of what they hear

30% of what they see

50% of what they see and hear

70% of what they say

90% of what they say and do


To state once again, there are many theories regarding learning. It is my goal to refer to the preceding lists and try to incorporate as many ideas as I can into my course. The list presents a limitless number of  challenging lesson creating possibilities. The following sections of my course design attempt to utilize these learning theories.


The CMS is custom designed . I have chosen to avoid using a commercial CMS for a number of reasons, one being cost and the other is I want the ability to control the user experience as much as possible. By creating my own CMS I feel I can do this. Particular effort will be made in order provide a medium that presents the course materials clearly: use of fonts; complementary colors; tables and columns; navigations system; illustrations , photos and sound; discussion and chat areas; various content areas.

In creating the CMS I have taken into account the end users: High School Students.

The characteristics of the CMS are as follows:

It requires very little reading of text.

Very easy to understand and navigate.

Presents all the necessary information on one page.

Has a very friendly user interface

Makes uses of illustrations, photos and colors (Visual - )

Presents the course material in a way that friendly and familiar way to a High School Student.


Collaborative lessons

Students will be required to contribute to group projects. They will have a chance to be involve in a community building, collaborative experience as well as an Interpersonal, socializing experience.

Lesson example: Students will utilize vocabulary words in creating a story. Each student will contribute a line with one of the vocabulary words in it. As the easy words get used up (they will be the first to go) students will ask each other for suggestions on how to get a word into the story


Multimodal lessons

Many lessons will attempt to include , illustrations (visual), sound / voice (aural) , read/write (written materials), and a chance to do or teach what they have learned (kinesthetic).

Lesson example: Student will work with a partner in a separate online chat area. Each partner will attempt to explain an aspect of punctuation to the other partner: how to use a comma. The students will also try to answer a number of question on punctuation together. At first this will be done only in their chat area. The next day they will be asked to speak to each other and discuss the subject on the phone. They will later be tested on their knowledge of the subject.

Clear objectives and Intrapersonal (plays alone)

Many lessons require the students to work on their own. Later they may be required to report their findings and enter into discussions with their fellow students. This will demonstrate an understanding of ideas and concepts.

Lesson example: Read the biography of Benjamin Franklin. Write a book report. Do research on what it means to be a genius. Do you feel Franklin was a genius? Why? Discuss the subject of what is a genius with your fellow students. Use your findings about Benjamin Franklin to substantiate your point of view.

Improve in written communication

Use of both asynchronous threaded discussions and email along with synchronous chat will contribute to students’ acumen in writing.

Students create lessons for themselves and each other

The instructor is not the only one who can create lesson. When students create their own lesson they are involved in the knowledge construction process, they develop multiple ways to think about and solve problems, they have a realistic content for participation in academics, they have ownership and a voice in the learning process, they are part of a social experience (Constructivist Learning Environment, National Educational Computing Conference, “Building on the Future” July 25, 2001 – Chicago, IL)

How does the instructor's role contribute to student learning?"
The present theory regarding teaching online is the instructor should be a facilitator of learning, rather than a teacher by rote. The instruct should encourage students to be self. directed: research, explore and discover on their own. The point of this is that when students are participating in a self-directed process, they will attain the greatest learning. The instructor should create lessons that require the students to be active learners

Some ways to act as a facilitator are, in open forums, don’t lead the discussion, guide the discussion and encourage students to participate. Use short, open ended questions or statements to move them through the discussion, or to reflect on their learning. (National Teachers Enhancement Network 1999 and Stryker, 1999)

The instructor must also monitor student interaction and lack of interaction. When student participation is less than satisfactory, the instructor must take action to modify the student’s activity or possibly remove the student.

The instructor must also provide clear methods of student assessment

What steps do you take to build a learning community (if using Model B)?
Require students to be respectful of each other; follow rules for participating in online discussions. Initiate and maintain interactive discussions

Encourage peer learning

Have students post information about themselves. This is high school – the music they like, movies, pets, where they are from.

Have students create a set of rules for participating in online discussion (you give them guidelines)

Activities that encourage building a learning community:

Progressive round table discussions (Post a question and everyone responds.)*

Role playing*

On-line debates*

Perform case studies*

Problem solving games*

Work on graded projects together*

Assign and also allow students to team up with partners or teams for help  or to participate in a project. (*Dr. Roger Powley, Innovative Training Solutions, Inc.)

"How often do you communicate with each student?"
In this high school environment, I expect to communicate with each student on a weekly basis. It is particularly important that a young student knows they are both being held accountable and being supported by their teacher. The online environment makes it easier to directly address each student either by email, discussion thread, or alternative communiqué. Students’ messages and emails should be responded to promptly. When there is a problem, take whatever steps are necessary to resolve it quickly

"How do you keep your students motivated and be sure they stay on task?"
Develop clear standards to hold each student to.

Clearly communicate with the students

Establish high expectations

Establish realistic time periods for work to be done

Provide prompt relevant feedback

Students should receive regular progress reports or timely grading

Respect and value each student for what he or she brings into the learning environment

"How do you communicate with students the standards you expect from their work?"
Standards are posted in the syllabus and in each lesson regarding what is expected. They are presented as goals of the lesson and in the form of a grading rubric. In addition feedback is given to students in the form of  direct contact and through work that has been evaluated.