Posted in Service Learning

In the End…

In the end, another proud learning moments and work production. I have never taken any service credits before, and didn’t know how this was going to work out. What I realized was that this was one of the best way to get your feet dirty into the muddy waters and explore, and not just get your feet wet.

I couldn’t be more happy about addressing my three topics (link to first service learning blog, “Revamping Study Skills Course”) and exploring the digital platforms to have students learn and engaged in the classroom. In the process, I learned the basics to navigate a new Learning Management System, Canvas.

I know that digital media certainly enables connection, creation, and collaboration among the classroom, as I have experiences this myself as a student. Thus, I saw the importance and potential in bringing this to the marginalized students that I work with. I felt that in doing this service learning, I am able to contribute to my college’s mission “by providing high-quality, flexible, accessible educational programs and services; advancing pluralism, inclusion and global awareness; and acting as a catalyst and collaborator for a vibrant region.”

The few tools that I have implemented into creating the curriculum is just the beginning. I had the fortunate opportunity to partner with another colleague to work on the other half for this curriculum, and I am excited to put it all together. The best part of this work is that this isn’t something done for the sake of fulfilling credits. A lot of thought, research, and planning have been put into these works, because it will be used this coming fall quarter!

Some of the limitations in the potential of digital media for enacting our mission is the lack of digital resources. The students that I am working with are the ones often affected by the digital divide; they are mostly first-generational students coming from low-income household. Booking for classrooms with computers are often not available because they are booked for “technology” classes or an interactive software is part of the in person coursework. This means that I need to get creative if I want to implement some of what I have suggested through my service learning blogs. Thus, I try to ensure that digital platforms are at least accessible via cell phone, or that I will allow time for students to use our private computer lab. I was also mindful of assignment completion; so, that students get the chance to get to the school or local library to use a computer and/or connect to the Internet. Additionally, I have also thought about working with another department to borrow their mini-ipads that are secured onto a cart. I figured that since these mini-ipads are only used for certain occasions/events, it will be easy for me to check out.

At the moment, I am blinded by further limitations. For now, I have plenty to work with; and I know that with continuous collaboration online, I know that will learn more creative ways to bring access and power of knowledge to all my students. I couldn’t be more excited to roll out this LMS, and one that I am quite content with, from the perspective of a teacher!

Posted in Service Learning

Don’t Just Record

The last topic that I have yet to cover in my service learning is on “taking effective notes.” It really bothered me that one of the instructor who taught this study skill course would only demonstrate one method, the Cornell method, as if that was the only one out there to learn. This really bothered me, so I decided to surf the web a bit and search for other types of note-taking methods. Quite frankly, I never use this method myself after learning it from this instructor nearly ten years ago. This brings me to an important point that one type of strategy doesn’t fit all.

As a class, we will begin by discussing the importance of taking notes, and also the importance of what to do with them afterwards (review, review, review). In the YouTube video below by Thomas Frank, he states

You’re not trying to get every single detail from the lecture down to your paper, and in fact the point is not to transcribe the lecture at all. Rather, it’s to learn while you are sitting in class. As you take your notes, your goal is to create and original document that represents your mental image of the subject. It’s not to record verbatim what your professor said.

Next, I would play the video below in class to watch. Before I play the video, I would tell the student that they will need to take notes on this video. Their method on how to go about doing this will be their choice. However, it needs to be either hand-written or typed (no audio or video recording for this activity).

We will then discuss as a class the 5 different methods mentioned in this video for them to fill in missing information. We will also discuss if any had a preferred method prior to watching the video and/or if they have one they now preferred. I will go on to ask the students if there are other note-taking methods not mentioned here that they found effective and use on a regular basis.

As a try-out practice activity, I will have students choose one of the 5 methods to use for the following video on “Should You Take Notes on Paper or on a Computer?” This video even talks about storing hand-written notes to be stored onto Evernote for easy access!

Learning to take effective lecture notes and understanding the need for this study skill is helpful for students success in their college coursework. Sure, some students can retain simply from active listening, but we know that this isn’t the case for most. Also, taking notes isn’t just about recording what is said, students should be deliberate in their learning. Otherwise, this just becomes another meaningless and time-consuming task.

Posted in Service Learning

I need to give people credit?

Trying to get creative in teaching some sort of “study skill,” while incorporating technology, and meeting one the course objectives (“creating academically successful learning groups”) has been challenging! After perusing through the internet and wondering what I can do, I finally thought of “citations!”

Something that I’ve been mindful about is that I am not teaching a technology course; yet, I do want my students to be efficient in navigating the digital world for academic purposes. Thus, I came up with the assignment for students to practice citations in learning groups. I have found many of my students struggle with their “Works Cited”/”References” page. Just yesterday, I had someone ask me about formatting the second line when it wraps around.

So, this assignment will be for students to research online for a good source to help them complete an in class activity the next time we meet. I am hoping that someone will share “Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).” In either case, I will use this one as a reference.

The other part of their homework will be to bring a favorite book of theirs to share. I would prefer one where they found one that they can relate to either ethnically, culturally, or a theme relevant to them. For examples, I would share either “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” or “The Rice Room: Growing Up Chinese-American from Number Two Son to Rock ‘n’Roll.”

Our in class activity  the next time we meet will be for them to properly cite the book in MLA format. Thus, students will need to have done their homework in researching a reference for how-to cite (books, articles, journals, newspaper, etc…). Additionally, I will assign students into groups for them to cite scholarly articles, which I will provide, using APA format. Group members will work together to pull their resources and help each other out on their individual book and scholarly journals citations. Each students will also take 2 minutes to orally share the book they’ve chosen and turn in their written citations before end of class.

Help! Love for any suggestions if can meet all 3 criteria: 1)  teach a “study skill” 2) incorporate technology use 3) involve creating an academically successful learning groups.

Below, I also created another informal discussion activity on Canvas to build collaboration and learning about each other. If you’re following along, then you’ll notice that I created Week 1 and jumped to Week 3, because I decided that I will have the class decide what questions/writing prompts they will like me to post on the even weeks.

Discussion 3