Documentation:Learning Design/Donna's Page

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Contribute Learning Activity to Participatory Research Project Please choose two activities that you use or have used in your designs and answer the following questions: · How would you characterize this design and why do you think it is successful? · What is the role of the facilitator/instructor, what is the learners' role? · Under what conditions does this activity work and under what conditions does it not (i.e facilitation, learning environment) · What are the barriers you see to the success of this design (i.e.constraints/costs/org/time factors)? · How can we share these practices as a department and then with others?

Sample Introductory Learning Activity in a First Year Media Web Design course

Activity Description: Broadcast Industry Website Analysis

In this activity, the instructor/facilitator will give a presentation/demonstration of how to do an effective website analysis of a few typical broadcast websites. Students will then work in small groups (of 3 or 4) to research an existing broadcast website, identify the major structural and navigational features, analyze how they help build a community within target demographics, and present their findings to the class in the form of a wireframe that outlines the major features and functions of their selected website.

Purpose This activity will help students to expand their knowledge of industry websites and to learn how different structural and navigational elements of a web page can engage (or repel) different target audiences. It also gives students an opportunity to practice the critical thinking and presentation skills they will need to successfully complete the unit assignment: A Broadcast Website Critique. The activity will take about 2 hours of f2f class time, including instructor/facilitator and student presentation time. The instructor will help students to form small groups, provide a list of interesting websites for students to consider for analysis, and offer guidance on how to fairly divide the learning tasks, which include: · Analysis of an existing website · Creation of a wireframe that outline the functions and features of the selected industry site · Presenting the wireframe to the class · Summarizing the feedback provided by classmates · Discussing how the feedback might be used to improve the community building aspect of the website

Facilitation Instructions: 1. Demonstrate clearly the “how” and “what” to analyze the structural and navigational elements of web pages.

2. Ask students to think about what they already know about broadcast industry websites and to note down any of their knowledge they believe is important.

3. Ask students to research and analyze the structural and navigational features of their selected industry website, and address the following questions in their group analysis:

· What useful knowledge did you already have? · What new information did you learn? · What is the target demographic profile of the website you researched? · How do the structural and navigational features of this site help build a community of site users in the target demographic group(s)?

4. Next, ask each group to create a wire frame that provides an outline of the major functions and features of their selected site, and how these can engage the target community of site users.

5. Make yourself available to the students to answer questions and provide guidance as needed.

6. Next, ask the groups to present their wireframes in class, participate in follow up a class discussion/feedback session and record a summary of the feedback from classmates. Some focus questions for analysis of the feedback might include: · What do you think you did well in your analysis? · What do your classmates think you did well in your analysis? · What important things did you learn about how broadcast industry website structural and navigational components can engage (or distance) audiences? · How will you apply what you have learned in this activity to your upcoming assignment?

Questions and Responses

1. How would you characterize this design and why do you think it’s successful?

· I would say it’s an instructor demonstration and student practice exercise that can help students connect their prior knowledge to new learning, begin to integrate new knowledge, and build skills for the learning performance expectation in their upcoming assignment. · I think the activity is successful because it: § Connects students to real-world skills they will need to know to work in this industry § Asks students to use their prior knowledge § Challenges students to expand on their prior knowledge § Invites students to share knowledge § Allows students to benefit from each others’ learning and knowledge, as well as from the instructor/facilitator’s expertise § Provides a slow-risk scaffold from new learning to measured learning performance

2. What is the role of the instructor/facilitator? · To present a ‘how to’ model; to guide; to coach; to support learning; to give feedback

3. What is the role of the learner? · To be present; to engage in active learning; to demonstrate critical thinking skills; to contribute to collaborative team and class learning

4. Under what conditions does this activity work (or not)? · This activity could be adapted to either f2f or virtual classrooms. (The team aspect would be tough if not impossible though in print courses!)

5. What are the barriers/constraints? · Time is the main thing. I know it can be done within the recommended time frame of two hours in a f2f classroom. However, in an online classroom, an instructor/facilitator would have to provide very clear directions and probably spend a significantly greater amount of time guiding the student through all steps of the activity. The design would have to be very tight. The only part of the activity that could be as quick (if not quicker) online would be the instructor demo – but facilitator/student feedback would still have to be choreographed.

6. How can we share practices within our department… and then with others? § Participating in this particular project is certainly a good start on sharing practices within our local department. I would also like to be able to bring ID puzzles, challenges and successes to team meetings for collegial discussion. § With others? The usual would be to do some conference presentations and/or papers for publication. Maybe we could do some on-campus activities to prepare for external sharing?