Reflection Week 4 – EDTECH 542

Discuss how your planned assessments meet the key requirements for effective assessments. Reflect on how you might adjust your teaching during this project to allow more student input in the evaluation process.

Here is the link to our assessment page of our PBL project. I feel that my partner Mark and I were right on with our assessments. The assessments held the students accountable on their terms. We have two different kinds of assessments: Formative and Summative.

Formative Assessments:

Our formative assessment starts with a Collaborative Learning Log: The students will be separated into groups of mixed abilities. They will then create a learning log Google Document that will be shared between the group. The group will then respond to different prompts and build a learning log for the group. The groups will also be given the opportunity to do
Learning Log Prompts

The Learning Log entries will be assessed using the following rubric.
Learning Log Rubric

Critiquing/Commenting on Learning Log Entries: The groups will share their learning logs with one other group in the class. The groups will then comment and critique the other group’s learning log entries on the differences, similarities, and changes that they think should be made. The critiques/comments will be assessed using the following rubric.

Commenting/Critiquing Rubric(need to create)

Online Quizzes: The students will also participate in online quizzes using a LMS like MOODLE or Google Sheets. These quizzes will provide the students with opportunities to be able to see how well they are actually understanding the material.

Concept Maps: The groups will also work on creating concept maps to aid in their understanding different ecosystems and the interactions that happen in them as well as the impact that humans have on them. Their maps will be assessed using the following rubric.

Concept Map Rubric(need to create rubric)

Summative Assessment
Multimedia Project: This is the culminating project. The groups will choose one ecosystem of the ones that have been researched and create a presentation or informational commercial on an ecosystem in an attempt to entice travels to visit an ecosystem. In their project, they will also discuss how humans have impacted the ecosystem and what attempts are being made to preserve it. 
Rubric for Multimedia Project(need to create a rubric)
For both of these assessments, they meet the key requirements for effective assessments.  Our assessments are made for the students, meaning they have personal relevance for students, the students can become more confident and articulate about what they know.  Our assessments guide them to success and have the students know exactly what they are researching.  The learning logs are wonderful because it can track their progress and it gets the students on track with researching and recording certain information.  The students assessment will also be public. They will have to complete a presentation or an informational commercial on their Ecosystem.  These will be assessed by a their students and teacher.
I may adjust my teaching during this project to allow more student input in the evaluation process by having the students critique themselves and their fellow classmates.  I feel that the students opinions on their fellow classmates projects are crucial because they will be honest and forthcoming with their critiquing.

Reflection Week 3 – EDTECH 542

This week my partner Mark and I decided that we were going to complete our PBL lesson plan on Ecosystems. We both teach some kind of Science and decided on this topic. This week was the start of our project. We had to come up with a solid driving question and a graphic organizer, organizing all our concepts for the lesson plan.

Our strong driving question is: What impact is the increasing human population having on the different ecosystems of the world and what can we do reduce the impact we are having?   How can accurate information about an ecosystem be portrayed effectively and creatively and inspire people to travel there?

We thought that this is a creative driving question along with an in-depth question.  The students will eventually have to create a pamphlet or a YouTube video of why their ecosystem is outstanding and is THE place to go visit.  Students have to use their creative and intellectual thoughts to complete this project.

Below is a link to our Ecosystem website. I feel that we have a very good concept going so far and a thorough lesson plan idea. I am excited to see our end project!

Reflection – Week 3 Real-Time Chat EDTECH 521

This week we were asked to facilitate a real-time chat with one or more people in our group. Catherine Howlett and I struggled for about 2 hours to try to accomplish this. We tried to create a “hangout” in Google+ and when I was trying to call her she was not picking up the line. Her internet kept booting her off. I kept asking Catherine to chat and for some reason she never saw my calls or invites to chat. Come to find out, I was asking a different Catherine Howlett to chat with me! Oops! The Catherine in my group did not even have a Google+ account! Once we figured this issue out, she registered for an account and then we were FINALLY able to talk through a hangout. Well, you would think our issues were resolved, but not so much! Once we were able to get into the “hangout,” we could see each other, BUT she could not hear me…I could only hear her. I really like the idea of “face-time” chat and the opportunity to see your partners face-to-face and to communicate as if you were sitting right next to each other.

With many obstacles that technology brings us, it is always exciting when you can figure those issues out and accomplish what you were meant to, but sometimes that is just not in the cards. Unfortunately, Catherine and I could not hear each other, but we could see each other and message each other. So we accomplished what we set out to do, just took us a bit longer to do and we were able to chat instead of video chat!

Reflection Week 2 – Project Search Discussion Forum EDTECH 542

This week our focus was to start looking at examples of PBL projects and how they can be incorporated into our classroom. It was beneficial to be able to view examples and see the range of possibilities. Some of the main features in a PBL project and lesson plan are:

  • A driving question
  • Collaboration or peer feedback
  • Critical thinking and questioning
  • Opportunites for individual explorations
  • Use of technology
  • Student presentation

Our second focus was to find an article related to PBL and to examine it.  I read the article, Problem Based Learning written by Diana F. Wood. I was very surprised to find out that PBL has been around since the 1960’s. I am just curious as to why PBL is not in our classroom more often.  I think PBL is a wonderful way to present a topic in your classroom and a wonderful way for the students to start taking responsibility in their studies and group settings.  I understand that PBL has been introduced all around the world, but is mostly used for medical students.  Why is this? I feel that you can use PBL in any classroom as long as you have a topic that allows this.  In the article, there are mixed reviews about PBL.  “Surely it is time to stop arguing about the process and ensure that diversity in undergraduate educational provision is related to declared graduate outcomes,” (Wood, 2008).  I agree with this statement because I do feel that PBL can be a postiitove way to learn as long as the teacher understands their role and the student fully understands their role.  There has to be clear communication throughtout the entire lesson.  The driving question is what starts the whole process.  Without a great driving questin, you will have a less than successful outcome with using PBL lesson plans.

We were supposed to be coming up with a topic and driving question for our PBL lesson, but my partner and I have not decided yet what this will be.  I do believe that we decided the lesson will be about atoms of some sort.

I am excited to get this process moving and look forward to our finished lesson.

Wood, Diane F.  Problem based learning. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.  2008.

Reflection – Week 2 Interview Tool EDTECH 521


When asked to create an Interview Tool for my Online Class I was intrigued by this idea. I never thought to even have an interview tool available. Now that I have completed this week of the course, I now know that my phone interview will be very important in my teaching career. I interviewed one of my former students (and cheerleader) and her mom.

Did the interview questions help the parent or responsible adult open up to the conversation?

Yes! Most of my questions were very open-ended and required more than a one word response. I designed my interview to pull as much information I could out of the student and parent. The first couple questions were about family life…how many brothers and sisters do you have? Do you have any animals? I started with these questions first in my interview to kind of ease in and get to know them a bit better. Then I went into tougher questions like what concerns do you have about taking an online course and personal goals they set for themselves. To end the interview I asked questions like if you could be any animal what would it be? I wanted to get an insight of how they deal with questions that are about them and how they saw themselves through their eyes.

Were the things you learned about the student and family important information for you to consider while working with them this year?

All the questions I put on the interview, I feel, were important information that I needed to learn or wanted to learn about the student and parent. So, yes, the information I learned about the family and student is important information for me to consider while working with them this year. I really can focus on their personal goals and the concerns they may have with the online course.

Was it difficult to keep the conversation on track? Why or why not?

I do not think it was difficult to keep the conversation on track. The questions I asked kept the conversation rolling. We never had an awkward silence because the questions flowed nicely and it did not feel like an actual interview. The conversation was a great discussion not interview!

Do you feel this was a valuable exercise to complete before starting the school year? Why or why not?

I loved this exercise as I stated before. I will definitely use this tool at the start of the school year. This is also a great way to end the year. We can re-visit the first interview and the answers and see what they accomplished the entire year. Also, to see if the students accomplished their personal goals and if the student accomplished my personal goals for them. This is a valuable exercise because it lets the teacher get to know her students on a more personal level and lets the teacher see the students fear of taking an online course.

EDTECH 542 Learning Log

Hi! My name is Paula (Cianciola) LaRich. I currently teach middle school mathematics in Mentor, Ohio. I actually teach in the same district I attended for elementary school through middle school. This is my 6th year teaching and love it! I do hope, someday, to only teach technology to students. My middle school is evolving into a technology based school. This means that each student receives an iPad in grade 6 and this follows them all the way until they are seniors. All our classrooms are “technology classrooms.” We have roller chairs and desks so it is easy to form groups each day. It really is a neat concept.

This will be my learning log for Summer Semester EDTECH 542. Hope you enjoy!

Self-Advertisement EDTECH 542- Week 1

I currently teach middle school mathematics in Mentor, Ohio.  I actually teach in the same district I attended for elementary school through middle school.  This is my 6th year teaching and love it! I do hope, someday, to only teach technology to students.  My middle school is evolving into a technology based school. This means that each student receives an iPad in grade 6 and this follows them all the way until they are seniors.  All our classrooms are “technology classrooms.” We have roller chairs and desks so it is easy to form groups each day.  It really is a neat concept.

Some of my hobbies include scrapbooking, book club, and just hanging out with the family! I have four nieces and nephews so they keep my husband and I busy on the weekends. We also have three “kids” of our own…2 dogs and a cat. We rescued them all and they are wonderful additions to our family!


This was our wedding party! 12 groomsmen, 11 bridesmaids, 2 flower girls and 1 ring bearer! It was HUGE!!

photo intro

These are our “kids.” From Left: Kita, Hank, and Scruffy! All rescues!

Three things I hope to get out of this class are:

1.  Learn the basics about PBL

2.  Understand how PBL can be incorporated into my classroom.

3.  Develop new ideas and lessons using PBL in the classroom.

Three things I can offer to the class:

1.  Experience with a technology based Math classroom

2.  Developing technology lesson plans in the Math classroom.

3.  Represent the middle school Math and technology  perspective in our class discussions.