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Online Course Design ~Content Design Template

This document is designed to guide your initial course development work through Session Four of Online Course Design.
  • At the end of Session Three you will submit this document (having completed Part I, Part II, Part III and the Session One section of Part IV) to your facilitator by email. Your facilitator will review the document and provide you with detailed narrative feedback on your content prior to Session Five when you will then use the document to enter your content into your blank course shells.
  • During Session Four, you will complete the Session Two section of Part IV in preparation for your course shell work in Session Five. ||


Part I: Laying the Groundwork for your Course


Design Team Members & Roles (if applicable):
  1. Paula Don
  2. Kelly Woleslagle
  3. Beth Shenefiel

Additional Content Experts and/or Resource People (if applicable):

Part II: Course Overview Information

Course Title:

The 21st Century Learner: Essential Skills for Success

Audience:

K-12 educators/ administrators

Overview:

The 21st century brings new expectations and challenges for today's learner. Technological advancements and global competition require the education community to reexamine and redefine what it considers essential skills for success. These essential skills create a learning environment that is relevant and adaptive for every learner. They include topics such as global awareness, creative and critical thinking, collaboration, leadership and ethics, among others.

This six week course is designed to introduce educators to the new skills and literacies for 21st century learning. Participants will define and examine these skills. They will discuss ways to assess these skills and investigate examples of best practices. Participants will be introduced to new technologies which help facilitate the mastery of these skills. As a final project the participants will create a plan to integrate 21st century skills into one of the content areas.

Goals:

The participants will
1. Discuss the importance of 21st century skills in preparing students for life in the global economy.
2. Define the key elements of 21st Century learning.
3. Assess to what extent they are already incorporating 21st century skills in their own schools or classrooms.
4. Integrate the key elements of 21st Century learning in the core subject areas
  • Learning and Thinking Skills
  • Life Skills
  • 21st Century Content
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Literacy and 21st Century Tools
5. Analyze and compare various sample assessments that will measure student success for the key elements.
6. Examine best practices of schools which are incorporating 21st Century Skills and discuss ways to implement these practices in their classrooms or schools.
7. Create a plan for integrating 21st Century skills in their classrooms or schools.



Part III: Session Outline


Note the title and a brief description for each session of your course.
Session 1: What are 21st Century Skills?
This session will explore the concepts and ideas connected to 21st Century Skills, their impact on the learning environment, and how the new digital literacies may enrich our classroom practice. In this session you will read and discuss several articles describing the need for schools to integrate 21st century skills into the established curriculum. You will compare various frameworks for 21st century skills and create a definition of what you think 21st century skills should include. You will also assess the extent to which you are already incorporating 21st century skills in your school or classroom.

Session 2: 21st Century Content
This session will explore 21st century content including global awareness; financial, economic, entrepreneurial, and business literacy; civic literacy; and health and wellness awareness. In this session you will read about 21st century content and examine best practices for integrating 21st century content. You will discuss these best practices and your ideas for integrating 21st century content. You will also develop content for sections 3 and 4 of your lesson plan and submit the completed sections to your instructor for feedback

Session 3: Learning and Thinking Skills
In this session you will read about the learning and thinking skills that are essential for the success of students in the 21st century. You will explore resources related to the different aspect of these skills including critical thinking and problem-solving skills, communication skills, creativity and innovation skills, collaboration skills,and contextural learning skills. By the end of this session you will have decided on a topic for your lesson and will begin thinking about strategies for intergrating learning skills in your plan.

Session 4: Information and Media Literacy, ICT Literacy, and 21st Century Tools
With new technologies come new challenges. This session will introduce you to the types of tools that are available to you and present you with examples of how these tools are being used effectively in classrooms around the world. You will use Information and Communications Technology Literacy Maps to develop learning goals for your lesson plan.

Session 5: Assessing 21st Century Skills
This session will focus on how assessment not only measures student achievement, but how it can also drive the curriculum. In this session you will read the plans of several different organizations which have different perspectives on both the content and assessment of 21st century skills. You will view several different example of how different organizations are assessing 21st century skills. You will also use the Assess 21 database to help create assessments for your final project.

Session 6: Review, Collaborate, Revise
In this session we will engage in 'peer review' as a process of critical review of your own and each other's work for mutual learning. It is designed to provide opportunities for you to communicate with your colleagues at a very personal and practical level; communication skills are an essential indicator for 21st Century learning. You will use the communication tools available to review the projects developed by two of your colleagues.


Part IV: Session Content


Session 1: What are 21st Century Skills?



Session Overview:
Many educational curricula today are focused on core competencies which are measured through standardized test such as the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). For our students to be successful citizens in the 21st century, however, we need to expand this focus. Technology has been an impetus for this change. The new skill sets required for success in this changing digital world, reflect the strategies needed to analyze and evaluate information, to collaborate and communicate, and to compete in a global economy.

This session will explore the concepts and ideas connected to 21st Century Skills, their impact on the learning environment, and how the new digital literacies may enrich our classroom practice. In this session you will read and discuss several articles describing the need for schools to integrate 21st century skills into the established curriculum. You will compare various frameworks for 21st century skills and create a definition of what you think 21st century skills should include. You will also assess the extent to which you are already incorporating 21st century skills in your school or classroom.

Session Goals: Participants will be able to:
  • discuss the importance of 21st century skills in preparing students for life in the global economy.
  • define the key elements of 21st Century learning.
  • assess to what extent they are already incorporating 21st century skills in their own schools or classrooms.

Readings:

Activities:
  • Did You Know- by Karl Fisch, this presentation was developed as part of a faculty meeting. Turn on your speakers. The first few slides relate specifically to Arapahoe School district, but keep watching. There are now three presentations in the "Fischbowl Trilogy" but this one is the most powerful.
  • Online MILE Guide Assessment- This online assessment will help you gauge the extent to which you are already integrating 21st century skills. Right click on the link and open it in a new window so that you can properly display your results.

Discussion:
Think about the extent to which you are already integrating 21st century skills in your school or classroom. Are you satisfied with the level of integration? What steps can you take to expand the integration of 21st century skills?
Please respond to the postings of at least two of your peers.

Optional Reading/Activites:
Online Learning and Virtual Schools Provide Essential New Skills for 21st Century Jobs, Says Report
Pathways to Performance- From the PA Dept of Education- Explains the PDE vision for technology and education in Pennsylvania.




Session 2: 21st Century Content


Overview
According to Thomas L. Friedman the assumptions and practices on which our systems are based need to be reexamined. In his book, The World is Flat (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005) Friedman discusses how technology and globalization are impacting the United States economy in the 21st century. The core content that was taught in the 20th century is not enough to secure our students’ futures. Our students need to be taught 21st century content in order to compete in this flattening global market.

This session will explore 21st century content including global awareness; financial, economic, entrepreneurial, and business literacy; civic literacy; and health and wellness awareness. In this session you will read about 21st century content and examine best practices for integrating 21st century content. You will discuss these best practices and your ideas for integrating 21st century content. You will also develop content for sections 3 and 4 of your lesson plan and submit the completed sections to your instructor for feedback.

Goals:
The participants will:
  • Integrate 21st century content in the core subject areas using the Lesson Plan template
  • Discuss best practices for integrating 21st century content

Readings:
  • 21st Century Content- Partnership for 21st Century Skills framework resource page. Explore the links for all aspects of 21st Century content to become familiar with the types of skills addressed.

Activities:
1. Review the following resources for examples of best practices in each area of 21st century content:
  • Global Nomads Group- A nonprofit organization committed to "fostering dialogue and understanding among the world's youth." Visit the media library to launch and view a short video about the organization.
  • Financial Literacy- The Utah State Office of education has mandated that financial literacy be taught as part of the core curriculum. Check out the teacher resources and the student/parent resources.
  • The Urban Agenda- Civic Literacy Project- Pulished by Wayne State University. Read the Forward and Part I, the Executive Summary, which describes what the project is and how it's done.
  • PE Central: Best Practices- Health and Wellness Awareness. There are many examples here and they are ordered by the most votes received. Read at least two examples.

2. Think about how you would like to incorporate 21st Century Content in your lesson plan. Choose one area of 21st century content and further explore ways to integrate it in your lesson plan by investigating the links below.

3. Think about the topic that you would like to focus on for your final project. Download and save the Lesson Plan template. Complete sections 1 (Possible Topic) and 2 (Standards) of the template and save your changes. You may want to browse the other sections of the template to become familiar with the requirements of the project.

Discussion:
As you examined best practices for integrating 21st century content, which activity did you feel best encompassed 21st century content and why? How will you use these best practices as a model for your lesson?

Please respond to the postings of at least two of your peers.

Optional Reading:
  • "To Promote the General Welfare"- Optional Reading. A discussion guide for developing neighborhood social contracts for the city of Philadelphia. This project could be adapted for schools. An interesting breakdown and re-interpretation of the preamble of the constitution.
  • Global School Net- This website is a bit busy, but it contains links to many different types of resources and project related to global awareness
  • Friedman, Thomas L. The World Is Flat [Updated and Expanded]: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.
  • Raising Global Awareness- Apple Learning Interchange

Session 3: Learning and Thinking Skills


Session Overview:
According to the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, “As much as students need to learn about academic content, they also need to know how to keep learning.” One of the key elements of 21st century skills is “learning and thinking skills.”

In this session you will read about the learning and thinking skills that are essential for the success of students in the 21st century. You will explore resources related to the different components and indicators of these skills including critical thinking and problem-solving, effective communication, creativity and innovation, collaboration,and contextural learning. By the end of this session you will identify a topic for your lesson and will begin thinking about strategies for intergrating learning skills in your plan.

Goals:
The participant will:
  • integrate learning skills in the content area
  • examine best practices of schools which are incorporating 21st Century Learning Skills and discuss ways to implement these practices in their classrooms or schools.

Required Readings:


Activities:

1. After exploring the various components of learning skills, choose an area that you think you would like to incorporate in your lesson and read more about strategies for teaching that aspect:
  • Critical Thinking:
    • 35 Dimensions of Critical thought- Published by the Critical Thinking Community. Includes links to remodeled lesson at various grade levels.
    • The Art of Redesigning Instruction- also published by the Critical Thinking Community- a comprehensive article on moving from "lower order, fragmented, and superficial" learning to "higher order, organized, and deep knowledge." A bit long, but good.
    • Critical Evaluation Toolkit- Published by Griffith University. Includes tips for teaching teamwork, assessment, and handouts
>
> Problem Solving:
>
> Communication Skills:
>
> Creativity and Innovation Skills:
    • Back to Basics: Learning to be Creative- Keynote address at the National Governers Association by Sir Ken Robinson, PhD., international expert on creativity, innovation and education. Scroll down to August 7th, find the presentation and choose either the audio or video link (Windows Media Player). This presentation is about 45 minutes long, but it's great stuff. He presents his arguments for the need for creativity education.
    • Creativity Toolkit- Published by Griffith University. Includes tips for teaching teamwork, assessment, and handouts
>
> Collaboration Skills:
>
> Contextural Learning Skills:
  • Contextual Learning- Published by the National Council of State Legislatures- Presents an overview with some examples
>
>
>

2. Complete sections 3 and 4 of the Lesson Plan template (21st century skills and key learning goals.) Use the framework from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as a guideline. When you have completed these sections you will need to submit you plan to the instructor for feedback.

Discussion:

Post a discussion thread which includes your initial idea for your lesson plan. Discuss the ways that you feel you could integrate learning skills into your lesson. Which aspect of learning skills will you focus on and how will you accomplish this?

Please respond to the postings of at least two of your peers.

Optional Readings/Activities: Explore any of the other aspects of Learning and Thinking Skills. Many links provide resources and tools that may be used in your classroom.

Session 4: Information and Media Literacy, ICT Literacy, and 21st Century Tools


Overview:
Technology is changing the way children learn. As technology evolves, so must the learning activities we provide for our students. Extending beyond information retrieval, Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, podcasts, and wikis are making it possible to for anyone to contribute and collaborate without the limitations of time, distance, or money. Our students are no longer just reading the Web, they are creating it.

With these new technologies come new challenges. This session will introduce you to the types of tools that are available to you and present you with examples of how these tools are being used effectively in classrooms around the world. You will use Information and Communications Technology Literacy Maps to develop learning goals for your lesson plan.

Goals:
The participants will:
  • Use ICT Literacy maps to develop goals for their lesson plans
  • Investigate 21st century tools and how they are being used in classrooms
  • Discuss the challenges that are faced when using 21st Century tools as they pertain to Information and Media Literacy.

Readings:

Activities:
  1. Watch this short video The Machine is Us/ing Us about how changes in technology are changing the way we create and use information.
  2. Inclusion- Watch this powerful 5 minute QuickTime video about how 21st century tools can be used in the classroom, specifically, Skype.
  3. Learning 2.0: The Things- "23 Things (or small exercises) that you can do on the web to explore and expand your knowledge of the Internet and Web 2.0." Originally published by Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County for staff development. (The staff could receive a free Mp3 player or laptop as an incentive for completing all 23.) Complete the activities for one specific type of 21st century tool. (They are grouped by week.) Some of these activities are specific to the library staff, but most of the activities can be complete by anyone. Most of the items have podcasts embedded at the beginning of the post that server as an introduction.
  4. Browse the ICT Literacy Maps, From the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Use these to help you complete sections 6 (21st Century tools) and 7 (Activities) of the lesson plan template.

Discussion:
After becoming familiar with the concepts related to ICT, and Information and Media Literacy, what types of challenges or obstacles can you foresee with using these new Web 2.0 technologies in the k12 classroom? How will you address these challenges in your lesson?

Please respond to the postings of at least two of your peers.

Optional Reading:
Digital Immigrant Remedial Vocabulary- Explanation of tech terms for novices.
21st Century Learning Project- Wiki for the Alamaba Best Practices Center
Don't Buy It!- Media Literacy--this is a wonderful and fun exploration of commercials and the presentation of information
School is Out for Web 2.0- Also by IMSA, describes the roles of Web 2.0 tools in education. Must register (free) to view this article.



Session 5: Assessing 21st Century Skills



Overview:
Today's schools are compelled to meet math and reading standards set by No Child Left Behind (NCLB.) Assessment has been the impetus for curriculum design, as students are pressed to achieve their adequate yearly progress. Nearly seven years into the new millennium, we need to question whether this tradiftional form of assessment can truly prepare our students for the global economy they will face upon high school graduation. What are we doing to assess 21st century skills? How can assessment of these skills help to shape what is being taught?

This session will focus on how assessment not only measures student achievement, but how it can also drive the curriculum. In this session you will read the plans of several different organizations which have different perspectives on both the content and assessment of 21st century skills. You will view several different example of how different organizations are assessing 21st century skills. You will also use the Assess 21 database to help create assessments for your final project.

Goals:
The participants will:
  • Compare various means for assessing 21st century skills
  • Examine different examples of 21st century skills assesments
  • Develop a method for assessing 21st century skills for their final project


Readings:


Activities:

  • Picturing the Possibilities: Performance Matters- watch this 5 minutes video about how one teacher assesses students who are modeling work in the real world.
  • ICT Literacy Assessment-Sales demo from ETS, provides an introduction to the types of skills that are evaluated and a tour of the actual assessment. Watch the intro demo and if possible take a tour of one of the tasks.
  • Assess 21 Database- Use the search at a glance feature to search for assessments realted to your lesson. Complete section 5 (Assessment) of the Lesson Plan template. Be sure to address both core areas and 21st Century skills. Your lesson plan should now be complete. You will need to submit you plan to the instructor for feedback. After you receive your feedback you will have the opportunity to make revisions before turning your plan in for grading next week.
    Discussion:
    This session presents various viewpoints on the assessment of 21st century skills. Compare the 2007 Department of Education vision with either the CEO vision or the Partnership for 21st Century Education vision. How can today's teacher balance a more traditional view of assessment, that focuses on NCLB and core topics, with a more contemporary view, that encompasses 21st century skills as defined in this course?
    Optional:
    Intel Education Assessment Library- Provides sample assessments for 21st century skills
    Assess 21 Definitions- From the Partnership for 21st century Education- provides objectives for the various types of skills related to 21st century learning
    Assessing 21st Century Skills-From the Partnership for 21st century Education Provides an overview of the need for authentic assessment in 21st Century Skills

Session 6: Review, Collaborate, Revise


Overview: Why collaborate and team? Team work is one of the key elements for success in today's workplace. In this session we will engage in 'peer review' as a process of critical review of your own and each other's work for mutual learning. It is designed to provide opportunities for you to communicate with your colleagues at a very personal and practical level; communication skills are an essential indicator for 21st Century learning. Successful collaboration and teaming begins with collective energy and a shared drive among team members to accomplish a shared goal (Schrage, 1989). You will use the communication tools available to review the projects developed by two of your colleagues.

Goals:
Participants will
collaborate online to refine and reflect on lesson plan development.
become familiar with teaching strategies and tools used to successfully communicate and collaborate.
Provide feedback for two of your colleagues on their project lesson

Readings:
Collaborative learning and Cooperative Learning, teachers hear these terms all the time as models of classroom practice. This article explores the difference between collaborative learning and cooperative learning-- http://home.capecod.net/~tpanitz/tedsarticles/coopdefinition.htm

Strategic Teaching-- Jamie McKenzie, a leading educator in Information literacy, publishes an online journal From Now On (www.fno.org). This article discusses using feedback loops, reflection and evaluation to enhance learning and teaching.

NSCD-Linda Darling Hammond Linda Darling-Hammond writes a wonderful article about the power of collaboration and how teachers can share their expertise to improve student achievement.

Common Planning Time Research demonstrates that when teachers are given time to talk, time to plan together, professional learning communities grow and teacher effectiveness improves. This article from NCREL describes strategies for fitting this collaborative time into the already busy busy school day.

Activities:
1. The articles listed are just a sampling of the literature that talks about the power of establishing professional learning communities and providing time for teachers to talk together about teaching. Our online environment has provided us with a professional learning community that has grown through our interactions throughout this course. Post your completed lesson plan for others to view. Peruse at least two other plans from your colleagues and provide feedback.
2. Complete the Final Survey. Your anonymous feedback is extremely valuable, enabling us to measure the success of the course, as well as design improvements for the next time we offer it. Please note that this is an expectation for course completion. To take the survey, click on the "Surveys" link in the course navigation bar and then on the link for "Final Survey".

Discussion:
1) Share and respond to feedback on your plan, and the plan of at least two colleagues.
2) Post a reflection on your thoughts about 21st Century learning, and your own teaching practice.
3) Share with us, if applicable, your thoughts about exploring this topic in an online classroom.


Final Course Survey

1. Rate the effectiveness of this course in introducing you to the key elements of 21st Century Skills.
  • Extremely effective
  • Somewhat effective
  • Not very effective
2. Which session best prepared you for integrating 21st century skills? Why?
3. Which session was least effective in preparing you for integrating 21st Century Skills? How could this session be improved?
4. Reflect on the amount of time that you spent completing required readings and assignment. Would you say that the the amount of time was:
  • More than expected
  • About what you expected
  • Less than you expected
5. How effective was your facilitator in helping you meet course goals?
  • Extremely effective
  • Somewhat effective
  • Not very effective
6. Do you have any additional comments about the way this course was facilitated?
7. Aside from your lesson plan, how do you forsee yourself incorporating 21st Century Skills in your classroom?
8. Please make any additional comments about your experience with this course.