Community Contribution – Weiran’s Learning & Motivation

Hey Weiran, I just read your blog about the difficulties of learning. Your connection to how learning can be difficult based on our preconceived prejudices was very interesting to read about. It also brought a more personal note to your post when you showed the example of different time zones being a barrier for learning. This reminded me of trying to learn a new language. Many people, including myself, are hesitant to start learning a new language due to the high degree of difficulty. With the appropriate motivation, it can become easier with time but it’s getting started and diving in that is the biggest issue. How do you think, as instructors, we can be more open to students that may have difficulty accessing that motivation and are hesitant to learn? Something to think about for sure! Thanks for posting, Ashlyn.

Community Contribution – Liv’s Instructional Method

Hi Liv, I enjoyed reading your post about direct instruction and I think it has a lot of great points in it. It is interesting that your group is planning on including several types of instructional methods. I think it is really beneficial to include this variety, as different learners will benefit through different methods. It is the lessons and learners that dictate what type of method to use, and it seems your group has done a good job in catering to that. From this I might even think about including a variety of methods in my resource! Your inclusion of your Hungarian background was also helpful to connect the material on a more personal level, and makes it easier for readers to understand your motivations. The post was really easy to follow and provided a detailed explanation about the method. Overall it was a good read. Thanks for posting!

Community Contribution – Emily’s Inclusive Design

Hi Emily. Your post goes into a part of inclusive learning that I haven’t considered before. When part of the lesson is intrinsically difficult for a specific learning, it is the instructors responsibility to try and best accommodate them. As you are doing with your resource, transferring part of the lesson to a Google Doc format may change part of the lesson but allows for more students to participate. I understand that a majority of people with sensory issues can get easily overwhelmed in a classroom environment, so it seems that mind breaks would be something very useful for them to learn about. While I don’t know much about mind breaks, I like how you are able to explain and teach others through a variety of formats. Helping them to take part in such a beneficial idea. Part of the benefits to GSuite and educational technology! 

Thanks for posting,


Peer Review

Here is the link to group 9’s learning resource:

Reviewing group 9’s learning resource as quite an enjoyment. Choosing to lay out their information on a website provided a more interactive experience than I was expecting. Over several pages integrated within the site, the group gave a comprehensive overview of their lesson plan and activities. 

    Beginning with the first page giving some context and rationale towards the different theories and content we have reviewed in the course. It might be beneficial to include a longer description of the learning design, including more on what project-work includes and the strengths/weaknesses of the choice. This will provide more opportunity to engage with the material from class. As well, the demographic/context of the learner could be more detailed. Perhaps expanding on why you chose 5th grade specifically, and how the method of instruction would change in a virtual setting. Understandably your activity and content is fairly active and hands-on, making the technological side a bit more difficult. I think this is a great opportunity to explore what this looks like in a virtual class.

    I enjoyed the aesthetics of your assessment plan. However, it might be beneficial to go into a bit more detail as to how you are going to assess the students. Even staying away from exact marks as you mention, more focused on the progress, how will you track this? You might have missed a summative assessment as well. 

    Throughout the learning resource, there were connections to some content/external resources used. While there was a bibliography section of the website, I might have missed the footnotes/in-text citations used throughout the site. You might want to consider citing the ideas, for example the technology rationale explanation connecting with the Gruno, J. & Gibbons article you include. 

Each of the lesson descriptions and outcomes were very well detailed. Including clear descriptions and interactive activities for the students to complete. There were clear connections between the outcomes and activities. I think that the activities you have outlined would be perfect in the classroom environment you describe, and would be fun to participate in at that age level!

Overall I enjoyed going through your learning resource. It is quite strong and easy to follow. I believe that with some fine tuning, it will be a great resource for others to follow!

Interactive Design

The video above does not force students to respond, instead is an independent material that can be used by instructors to spur reflection and interaction.There is no designated activity for the students to complete to finish the video. However, as YouTube is a social media platform there is a level of designed interactivity with the comment section and ability to “respond” to the video. Commenting is not corrective, if a student decides to comment they will not be given feedback from an instructor/designed feedback from the creators. Instead, there is an opportunity to interact with others that have watched and commented on the video. This option is left to the student, and is not a key part of the material. 

If this video were given to a group of students in a course setting, it would be easy to follow and make notes on. Beyond this, I do believe there is a certain level of reflection that can take place after the video. Thinking on previous group experiences, and where the viewer may fit into the roles that are described.

If this video were to be designed not for general viewership but a learning environment, there is room to make it more interactive. Prompting the students to fit themselves in scenarios and find their role that the video discusses. Having more question-prompts for the viewers to answer in the comments also promotes more activity and interaction among the viewer-creator and viewer-viewer. Tying in the social aspect in the social-media platform.

The video already includes closed-captions, something that is important when thinking on inclusivity. I think it’s important to recognize that this video would be a part of a larger lesson. Having a variety of material is beneficial depending on the learning barrier. The length of the video is fairly short, making it easier on those with tight schedules or attention issues. If possible, translating the closed captions into other languages would be useful for a variety of learners.

Having multi-media incorporated into an online environment can be used to encourage student interaction. Yet it cannot stand-alone, or else there will be limited levels of engagement. With other activities and prompts from teachers, this video can be used to accurately describe all of Belbin’s roles in a group dynamic.


Inclusive Design

The group project we are planning for our resource aims to provide as many pathways for learners as possible. We understand that group-work can be difficult for learners for a variety of reasons, but believe it is the best way to showcase the material.

Inclusive design begins with the initial planning of a learning resource. Due to the interactive nature of our resource, and key group-work elements, there are several challenges to plan a fully inclusive design. Barriers to student learning includes social set-backs (autism, social anxiety, language differences etc.), lack of stable online accessibility, and scheduling conflicts. When building our resource, there are solutions to these complications. Having a variety of ways to communicate to other group members will allow students to choose whichever works best for them. This can mean written/text-based communication over social media, blogs or email, or verbal communication with tools like Zoom or Discord. Breaking down the group work into manageable, independent aspects can alleviate the pressure of different scheduling as well as the social set-backs, paired with asynchronous communication styles. With most of the work being done online, having a limited wi-fi/online accessibility is difficult to overcome. One aspect to consider is the use of videos/larger filed needed, and trying to limit them as much as possible. Blog posting and other text-based technologies require less data comparatively. 

    Approaching the content with cooperative learning benefits a variety of learning needs. Students are encouraged to find their own strengths and fit into the group as appropriate. If needed, we as instructors can assist students in this process. Boosting self-esteem in students while advancing their learning about collaborative projects. Hopefully the students feel comfortable with asking for assistance as necessary, and communicating with instructors about their needs.

Learning with Curiosity

    Inquiry-based learning has grown over the past years, and has become a forefront in introductory STEM fields. Broken down into different stages, students are encouraged to explore what peaks their interests within a topic. With the expansion of web-based learning, the inquiry method has grown due to the ease of access and availability of information. The learning approach goes through a cycle/number of stages that end in a deeper understanding of the topic at hand.

    Beginning with introducing the material in a more general way, the students begin to think on what peaks their interests. The following stages of conceptualization and investigation are student lead. Researching (often times independently) about their chosen topic and following a more self-directed path compared to other approaches. Those who are teaching can help guide learners in this process, and become more hands-on during the conclusion and discussion stages. After the investigation, students present the information that they have gathered for a larger discussion. The reflection period after the initial learning is beneficial to both guide future lessons and for other students to learn more. I have attached an image going over all of the stages and what they can include depending on the level of assessment and learning.

    When researching this approach, Montessori schools came to mind. In Montessori programs, students are encouraged to be more self-directed in their learning with guidance from the teachers rather than direct instruction. Being an example of an inquiry-based learning structure, these types of school are more common in the younger streams. This approach can be very beneficial in more advanced scenarios as well, especially with the usage of technology. The rise of web-based learning has provided learners with all of the tools necessary to find and research topics that might interest them. Different formats, such as animated videos like CrashCourse, go over niche topics in great detail. As well, providing the ability to communicate with others that are interested in similar topics.

    Inquiry based learning would not be the best approach for our group’s topic. Due to the specific models/theories that we are teaching the learners, there is limited opportunity for them to properly conceptualize. As well, we want to encourage learners to work together and delve into how cooperative learning is. Inquiry based learning can be more advantageous to independent learning rather than group work.

Works Cited

Pedaste, M., Mäeots, M., Siiman, L. A., de Jong, T., van Riesen, S. A. N., Kamp, E. T., Manoli, C. C., Zacharia, Z. C., & Tsourlidaki, E. (2015). Phases of inquiry-based learning: Definitions and the inquiry cycle. Educational Research Review, 14, 47–61.

Learning Theories throughout School

When trying to fully understand the three major learning theories throughout the reading by Ertmer and Newby, I found myself relating each theory to a period of time during my education so far.

Beginning in early childhood, large moral concepts that are often too complicated to be taught at a young age are broken down and digestible through different stories and exercises. The cognitivist method focusing more so on what and how things are learnt, rather than obtaining a correct answer. During early childhood education, before grade school, this seems to be the desired approach. While the students are given rules and boundaries, learning objects often intertwine with each other to further the individual’s overall understanding. Paired with the strong usage of hierarchical structures during this time to assure which is right/wrong. Active involvement (often literally at this stage) during learning to fully captivate and engage learners.

Moving forward to the high school era, students repeatedly test boundaries and have a much harder time being engaged. In my personal experience, understanding what is deemed as the correct answer to most concepts rather than actively learning them. The behaviouralist method seems to be more like Pavlov-ing students, trying to shape behaviour based on a response. This becomes a larger issue when transferring from high school into higher education, as most of what is taught in high school is this form of cue-based response that rewards students on memorization and pattered behaviour.

During university and higher education, the goal of learning is often to fully apply and understand material that is built off of previous learning. Learning occurs more as a building block or web, utilizing previous knowledge to better understand larger/more complex concepts. Cognitivism helps with this by understanding that each learner is very different. How people connect to what they are learning will be varied, and when instructing it can be hard to predict what exactly this might be.

With a more general, larger foundation and working up from there to be more specific and complex, building on the previous knowledge gathered. While I have had little time as an instructor, through study groups and in class I find it easiest to explain complex or specific learning objects through examples and personal experiences. Trying to connect the learner/fellow student with something that is specific to them and a previous experience that they have had. I think information is much more digestible this way, being more personal, rather than trying to simply mimic and memorize what others have learnt.

Over almost decades of school, the theories present themselves depending on the time, instructor, and environment. Currently, I am thoroughly enjoying the constructivist method and will continue to try and engage others in this way.

Welcome and Introduction

Before proceeding with this first blog post, we expect you to consider your privacy preferences carefully and that you have considered the following options:

  1. Do you want to be online vs. offline?
  2. Do you want to use your name (or part thereof) vs. a pseudonym (e.g., West Coast Teacher)?
  3. Do you want to have your blog public vs. private? (Note, you can set individual blog posts private or password protected or have an entire blog set to private)
  4. Have you considered whether you are posting within or outside of Canada? This blog on is hosted within Canada. That said, any public blog posts can have its content aggregated/curated onto social networks outside of Canada.

First tasks you might explore with your new blog:

  • Go into its admin panel found by adding /wp-admin at the end of your blog’s URL
  • Add new category or tags to organize your blog posts – found under “Posts” (but do not remove the pre-existing “edci335” category).
  • See if your blog posts are appearing on the course website (you must have the the edci335 category assigned to a post first and have provided your instructor with your blog URL)
  • Add pages, if you like.
  • Include hyperlinks in your posts (select text and click on the link icon in the post toolbar)
  • Embed images or set featured images and embed video in blog posts and pages (can be your own media or that found on the internet, but consider free or creative commons licensed works). To embed a YouTube video, simply paste the URL on its own line.
  • Under Dashboard/Appearance,
    • Select your preferred website theme and customize to your preferences (New title, new header image, etc.)
    • Customize menus & navigation
    • Use widgets to customize blog content and features
  • Delete this starter post (or switch it to draft status if you want to keep it for reference)

Do consider creating categories for each course that you take should you wish to document your learning (or from professional learning activities outside of formal courses). Keep note, however, that you may wish to rename the label of the course category in menus (e.g., as we did where it shows “Learning Design” as the label for the “edci335” category menu.  This will enable readers not familiar with university course numbers to understand what to expect in the contents.

Lastly, as always, be aware of the FIPPA as it relates to privacy and share only those names/images that you have consent to use or are otherwise public figures. When in doubt, ask us.

Please also review the resources from our course website for getting started with blogging:

Test Learning Design Post

This post  will appear in a few places:

  1. in the blog feed on the front of your website
  2. in the Learning Design menu on your website. This is because we have applied the “edci335” category to this post and the menu item “Learning Design” has been created from the category “edci335.” For every post you make for this course, please assign the “edci335” category to it. You are welcome to use this blog for your personal hobbies or for other courses, in which case, you could create additional menu items and categories for them.
  3. if you give permission, your posts categorized “edci335” will be aggregated onto the Blog Feed on the EDCI 335 Course Website.

Feel free to delete this post once you understand this. If you have any questions, please reach out to your instructor.