PME 832 - Fall 2020 (3)
Leaders in classroom practice help learners make strong connections to the world outside the classroom. This course examines the foundations of why, when and how to enlarge the context for learning and explores avenues that yield integrated and authentic learning experiences. Examples of connectedness are found in classrooms that connect to students’ experiences at home, integrate opportunities for informal education, encourage the involvement of community members, foster community service, and cultivate relevant and appropriate uses of the internet. The focus of learning will be on how to trigger, facilitate and enrich learning through outreach activities.
Hello - I have compiled the feedback from your assignments into this post. You might find a review of my comments helpful in order to identify what key elements I am looking for in your writing and assignments.
The first section are the in-text comments that I make throughout your papers. Of course, many of these are out of context and so not particularly helpful from a content perspective. However, you will be able to see the range of comments that I make - from formatting, and style to words of encouragement, to comments about the nature of your topic and feedback on your interpretations. I have removed many of the one and two word comments as repetitive, but left enough so you can see the volume and variety of comments.
The second section are the compiled general comments that I provide at the end of every paper. Again, these are de-contextualized and so of limited value, but you will see feedback on various elements that I consider important.
In either case, I think you will benefit from a brief perusal of these comments.
- True – can you elaborate on this in a sentence or two – just what could they do?
- Great, but do you have an example of just how this happens? What kind of activity might we see?
- Great – can you describe one of these activities in a sentence or two?
- This is a good reference list – I do like to see a few more with evidence of reading widely outside of our reading list.
- Very good reference list and well placed in the paper.
- Good references and well cited throughout. I do caution you to not relay on so many direct quotes. They lose the ‘flavor’ of your own writing and do not convey as strong a sense of your understanding of the topic.
- Please use a title page and page headers.
- Incomplete sentence – I am not quite sure what you mean here.
- Agree, but be careful – these generalizations can be problematic
- Careful with very long quotes. This is actually 40 words and so according to APA formatting needs to be indented. Also, try to use much shorter quotes if possible.
- You have said this already, although with different words.
- You have definitely commented on this already and so you could use this word count to describe examples of what they are actually doing and how those activities specifically relate to the approaches you are trying to describe.
- You could combine this with the previous sentence
- Are these skills and are they specific to this study, or are they attitudes that could develop from any type of project?
Thank you for the work. You have given a concise piece of writing with very insightful and interesting discussion of the various questions.
I have noted in a few places that you might give some concrete examples. I know this might risk increasing your word count, but it would also make your statements more powerful.
I do appreciate that you have kept to the word count. Overall, your writing is very concise and to the point. That makes reading very easy.
On the other hand, I note that you have not used any paragraphs in your paper. I strongly urge you to plan your writing careful and make sure that you divide your paper into it component parts. This makes reading much easier and will make your won editing much easier as well. You can then move paragraphs around and you will find that you can plan and the paper at a higher level.
I also note that you have a good reference list, but I would like to see more in-text citations. Not quotes, but references to the papers you have read. When you make statements of assertions, these are often helped by a citation to academic literature. This is a key part of your studies and we want to see that you are reading as widely as possible to inform your own learning.
Thank you for your work. I can tell from your opening statements that you are very passionate about your work. All teachers are passionate about teaching, but you have exhibited your passion quite clearly!
I thought you made a lot of great points and have indicated so throughout the paper. However, I do challenge you on a few points and encourage you to read more widely to get a better perspective. I have noted in a couple places to be cautious of generalized statements as they tend to lump issues and people together. This leads to missing important individualized issues. This is a good reason to improve you reference list.
Also, I think you could provide a few more concrete examples of the skills and approaches that you discuss. You do have some interesting points and examples but I have noted a couple spots where you could strengthen your discussion with examples.
Your writing is a bit choppy and you have a lot of typographic errors including punctuation, incomplete sentences and grammatical errors. Some careful proofreading would greatly enhance your paper. Also, at more than 1600 words you have gone well over the word count. You could reduce that word count dramatically without losing any of your content or impact.
Thank you for your work. This was a very well written paper. You have a great conciseness and flow of ideas. You gave good examples and your solutions to challenges were thoughtful and very practical.
I did note a couple spots where an few more examples would be helpful, but overall, this is excellent work.
At 1200+ words, you were over the word count slightly, but this is well within normal limits.
I appreciated reading this paper because your suggestions and examples were very practical and realistic and you were able to give insightful points and comments about each of the areas you discussed.
Also, I thought your focus on the connectedness of the ideas and your solutions were very thoughtful. I could tell you have given this activity some clear thought and attention.
Very well done!
Thank you for your work. I think you have chosen two very good studies and I also think that you have identified the approaches that are embodies in these studies.
As you have noted in my comments, I found that your writing style has impeded your ability to really describe these approaches. You have a tendency to describe whatever you are discussing in very ‘light’ terms. You also have a tendency to gloss over the points and thus you repeat yourself repeatedly.
Also, you have written almost 2000 words, which is double the word count requested of 1000 words. You really need to try to stay within the word count.
I do think you have captured the essence of the two approaches. However, to really strengthen this writing and essays to come in your future, you really want to proofread carefully and follow a model of how to present your argument. For example, you will need to show concrete examples from the readings that exemplify the statements you are making. While I have read the studies, I should not have to read them to be able to understand what is happening in them. You make a lot of claims about what skills are being learned, but do not really give examples of activities that they are pursuing in which they would actually learn these skills.
I think the strength of your paper in in your suggestions for improvement, You make some excellent points. These could be greatly strengthened by concrete examples of how to implement your suggestions.
You do use a solid range of references although you will want to refer to an APA guide to see how to better use references and cite them in your text. Please check in with our librarian or go on the Queens library site to see examples.
Please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss this further.
This is a wonderful piece of writing. It is informative, organized and draws upon an excellent range of literature. You have clearly given this a lot of thought and effort. I was very impressed with your insights and as I noted, I have learned a couple things about indigenous education from you.
My only comment would be to suggest that you try to work in a few more concrete examples of how some of the approaches and activities are realized in the programs. You give excellent descriptions of the skills and so forth, but if you were to compact your descriptions of the skills and add some examples as illustrations of how these skills are learned, you would enrich this essay.
I would also add that while your writing is very easy to read, you could reduce your text and word count without losing any of your ideas. I challenge you to think about that. A key element of getting your ideas out into the world and for example, finding a partner to take those risks with you is to convey your ideas in a succinct manner.
By the way, you submitted this in a [pages] format. I will ask you to submit in MS Word format next time.
Thank you for your work. I appreciate the effort. I think you have given a rich description of the two projects and captured the main points. However, you have gone way over the word count at 2000+ words. I think you could dramatically reduce the word count and still retain all of your main points.
I also think you could provide some more concrete examples of the activities. You gave great descriptions of the approaches and challenges, but I think some concrete examples to highlight the skills being learned are very helpful. These two could be added once you have reduced your overall word count.
There are also a few points that I challenged you on. These are based in opinion and so you may be on the right track. However, I have noted my comments in the text.
I think you have a great reference list. I do encourage you to refrain from too many quotes. They are helpful, but to be used sparingly.
I did enjoy reading this and again you have made some very insightful points.
Thank you for your work on this assignment. I think you have covered the questions thoroughly, and overall I think you have demonstrated an understanding of the topics and approaches. However, I found that you offered comments and statements without providing a concrete example, I think this is a challenge to be more concise in your explanations and draw upon some of the actual activities being held in the two studies to show just how they demonstrate any particular approach.
Also, I found your writing to be disjointed in places. I think you would benefit from a focused proofreading of your actual writing. In several places, it was not clear just what your point was. I am not sure if you have an editing model, but there are specific steps you can take to proofread. If your writing is clearer, then it becomes easier to edit your ideas to make sure you are supporting your claims.
I also encourage you to follow a proper APA formatting and citation protocol. Using the links is a nice addition so that we can jump to the site, but that is not sufficient to direct us to where we can find the course of your ideas. Academic writing is quite different from journalistic writing and you need to provide and demonstrate that you have read widely in the field you are discussing. I also want to see the list to determine just what resources you read to contribute to your new learning.
I also note that you have submitted this well before the due date. That is ambitious and I appreciate the effort to get ahead of your work, but the third discussion forum serves as a support for this and you may have benefited from sharing these thoughts in the forum first. In my own studies, I was always quick to complete assignments well in advance, but I never submitted until the due date. In reference to Kolb’s cycle, we need time to reflect on our work and review it.
I think your comments about experiential learning are very strong and I encourage you to think through these more fully to see just how, for example, you might include reflective activities that support Kolb’s learning cycle and allow the students to reflect on what they have done. This is how we ‘learn from our mistakes’.
Thank you for your excellent work. I thought you gave a compelling and detailed account of these two studies and the implications of implementation.
I would like to see more concrete examples. You do cite for example, a number of activities that the students do but I wonder if you can explicitly link some of the skills being learned to the activities being pursued to learn those skills. This explicitly linking helps the audience to really get a sense of how the skills are being conveyed.
I am also interested to see more discussion about the role of the community. You have rightly identified the teacher and the school as having primary responsibility, but I also wonder about the community. If the community elders are promoting such programs, then they also have a significant responsibility to provide mentors and instructors who convey the correct sensibilities.
I think your writing is quite fluid, but I encourage you to use smaller paragraphs. I have identified a few spots where you need to break into a new paragraph. This helps not only your reader, but you as well as writer to see if you are repeating and helps you to be more concise.
Thank you for your work. You have given some great examples and insights. However, at 2000+ words, you have gone over the word count by 100%. I think that you could greatly reduce your word count and still not lose any of your great insights. A lot of your word count is used up with very long quotes, excessive quotes and more examples than are necessary. I expect great examples, but you only need what is requested. You have given far more examples in some sections that needed.
Also, you need to use PA formatting for the references. The end notes do not have the proper reference either and I really want to see the actual reference so I can look them up is I need to. The link is not quite good enough.
I did question a couple of points as you can see in my comments throughout the text. Otherwise, this is very insightful and I was pleasantly surprised by some of your insights and comments.
You have written a very solid and well-planned overview of the assignment. You have covered the two studies very thoroughly and in a very concise manner. It was very easy to read, for which I am very thankful! I do suggest using some shorter paragraphs to make reading just that mush easier for your audience. This also makes the editing process easier as you can see your own ideas that much clearer.
Although I did question some of your challenges, I think you have given them clear thought and defended their probability quite well.
The rest of your essay was very thoughtful and you provided clear responses to each section.
One comment I would add is to think about how to work in some more concrete examples. This is a balance between giving a soldi overview and saving some of your word count to give those concrete examples that can illuminate the skills and knowledge the students are gaining. However, in a relatively short essay such as this, that is a challenge.
Thank you for your work. You have chosen two very interesting studies to discuss. I think you have given a good overview of the approaches to the studies and the challenges and suggestions. One suggestion I have is to give perhaps a few more concrete examples. You do discuss skills for example, that the students are learning and give a few examples, but it might be great to give one clear example, that embraces or encompasses the skills more clearly.
Also, I found that your writing is generally very easy to read, but you have a tendency to write long paragraphs. These are harder to read through and make some of your writing a bit more jumbled. You will find that using shorter paragraphs will help you to edit your work more readily. This is important because you have gone over the word count at just over 1400 words. I think you could easily cut this down and add more examples at the same time if you were very careful to edit for length.
I think you have used a good range of references, but you do need to reduce the length of your quotes. A couple are very long.
I liked your focus on different forms of assessment in the final section to describe how you might manage some of the challenges of depth of study and monitoring progress, rates of learning and engagement.
Overall, this was quite interesting.
Thank you for your work in this assignment. I do appreciate your efforts.
I think you have covered the assignment reasonably well. I would like to see some more detail in one or two of the examples you provide, for example around the skills they learn in each program. You do mention a number of skills, but do not really explain how the skill is explored or practiced in either case.
I would also like to see a more direct link between the approaches you describe and the activities practiced in the studies. This clarifies your understanding of the approaches and demonstrates that understanding to the audience.
I thought you did well with the references except for the overly long quotes. Please see my comments in the text. I do expect to see any strong claim supported by a citation or reference.
I also thought your writing was easy to read. You have a tendency to use short sentences which then I think causes you to write a bit more than you really need. You may want to try and streamline your writing process a bit more.
I think your solutions to challenges were quite insightful.
Thank you for your work. You are one of a very few that kept to the word count and even stayed under it. You gave a very concise account of the questions for the paper. I did note in a few places where you might expand just a bit by adding some examples, or a comment for example, on the challenges you noted.
Also, you should try to avoid too many quotes. You do need to use citations and ensure that you reference your comments and ideas from any sources thoroughly, but the skill in doing this is to be able to combine what you are reading with your own interpretation of the setting or question to provide you won unique perspective.
Otherwise, I appreciate the concise nature of the paper and the clarity of your writing.
Thank you for your work in this assignment. I think you have given some interesting points around the nature of learning within the context of these programs. However, as I have noted throughout the paper, I would really like to see you focus much more on the actual programs. For example, you have some great suggestions for meeting challenges, but these are not specific to the programs and the suggestions of improvement are not specifically aligned to the programs either.
Part of the goal of this assignment is to have you dig deep into two case studies. And then from there extrapolate to more general comments and understanding about the application of the various approaches and the challenges and improvements that could be made. You offer some interesting general comments, but I do not see the deep dive into either of these studies.
Your writing is quite clear and concise and I appreciate that you have kept to the word limit. You might consider integrating the questions a bit more fluently to provide a better overview of the studies.
This course, and most Queens PME course, rely heavily on discussion forums, not only for grading but for the social construction of knowledge. So, let me share some ideas on how to make the most of your efforts in these discussion forums.
In a series of interviews on the experience of using discussion boards in these courses, some of your classmates and peers have made the following comments:
"The richest learning for me, has come out of those discussion boards and looking at other people's interpretations of things and talking to people about, or reading their experiences with varying things. And I've realized now that a lot of what I enjoy, a lot of my learning comes from is actually, from those discussion boards."
Many of the people I have interviewed found themselves actually quite surprised by the value and experiences they found in the discussion forums. For example, the following person described how the forum gave them the chance to really review the asynchronous discussion and think clearly about their own perspective on that particular issue before responding. The additional time offered by the asynchronous format allows for deeper reflection on the topic and stronger responses and understanding.
So, some of them I read two or three times, then I thought did I read this right? I didn’t respond right away, so I would read it first, step away and then come back. Sometimes I reread the notes before I responded because I thought, "I wanna get this right before my response to the person".
In other cases, people found that they were equally challenged by and benefited from providing answers to their classmates. They found that by thinking through the questions posed to them, they were able to clarify for themselves their own thoughts on the particular issue and then provide a meaningful response to their classmates.
"I think the big thing that helped me was reading other people's posts and trying to answer the questions that they had. So when I read someone else's, I actually connected and I had an answer for them. It made me feel very excited, because I was like, "Look, I'm helping this individual! I've experienced this and I've tried something and hey, here's what my experience has been."
One way to ensure that people take time to read your post so that you receive feedback on it and can initiate a conversation, is to take the time to format your post.
I think being aware of what it looks like when someone opens it, it's like when I hand an assignment to students that's a full page of just writing, I know that they're gonna look at it and go, "Yeah, no". I feel similarly with the discussion posts. I know there's a couple of times where I would open one and it was just a wall of text and I was like, "I don't know if I'm gonna read this one", and it wasn't due from merit.
Consider the following outline for creating your post and engaging in the forum.
To benefit from the discussion board environment and the chance for the social construction of knowledge, participants must both openly share their thoughts, and invite responses from others. Inviting responses includes paying attention to the responses.
As I have scanned the discussion forum posts over the past few years, I have noticed an important correlation between the number of comments a participant posts on others' posts, and the number of responses they receive to their own post. There are clear patterns that emerge just from the pattern of responses in the forum, without even opening up the posts. As a person comments on others' posts, those others then come to the initial respondent and comment on his or her post. In turn, this leads to greater feedback, interaction and transformation of that participant's knowledge resulting in excellent final projects.
I share a gentle reminder that you will will benefit much more from shorter, more frequent visits to the forums.
Finally, I also invite you to consider the community of inquiry as a model for online interactions.
Watch this video I have created and narrated on the Community of Inquiry