i3: Week 5 reflection (part 1)

What is this post?

I’m taking a class (called “i3”) about how to teach online. Each week we write a blog post about something we’ve done for the class. In this initial post, I will summarize this week’s assignment and what I did to complete it. That way, those who aren’t in the class can have some idea of what is going on! In the next post I will put my reflection on the assignment.

The assignment

Anyway, here are excerpts from the most recent assignment:

Using [one or more objectives] choose instructional activities to meet the objectives and create an assessment … Write a blog post about what you have done. Please explain your choices in your reflection.

Create a rubric to assess an activity you may use … [I used the activity I had just created]

Notice that I am supposed to provide:

  • An objective
  • An instructional activity + assessment
  • A rubric to assess the activity (or some other activity – but I’ll use the one just created)
  • A blog post reflecting on my choices

My objective

This is my objective:

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the concept of variables by correctly answering questions about what variables and assignment statements mean, and discussing the answers with one another.

I have questions about the objective; I’ll ask them in the next post.

My instructional activity

For the primary instructional activity I chose to use a forum. In the forum I have questions about the important concepts in each chapter. The students answer once initially before they are allowed to see each others’ posts. Then they read each others’ answers and we all discuss them. I will prod and correct and clarify as needed. Finally, they will summarize what they’ve decided in a final post. (i3 instructors: The forum is created but hidden in topic 2 of my Fall CIS 299 course.)

The questions

Here are the two questions I prepared. I hope they will assess student understanding of variables and assignment statements:

== Question 1 ==

Consider the following assignment statement:
price = 10.95;

After this assignment statement executes, is it better to say:

a) price contains 10.95
b) price is 10.95

Explain why it might make a difference.

== Question 2 ==

Consider this statement, which adds one to the value in count:
count = count + 1;

Someone protests: “That doesn’t make sense. No matter what count is, it can’t be equal to itself + 1.” How would you answer them?

My rubric

Here is the rubric I would like to use to assess the students’ performance on this activity.

(3) Yes (2) Yes, but (1) No, but (0) No
Accuracy of initial answer Answer is substantially correct. Answer is not correct but is a reasonable response given the student’s knowledge at the time. Answer is clearly wrong but represents a real attempt to think through the question. No real attempt to answer the questions accurately.
Depth of subsequent reflection Initial answer and/or subsequent discussion reflects a thorough consideration of the question. Recognizes some key aspects of the question during discussion but also misses the point a lot. Participates in the discussion but misses the point for the most part. Little or no discussion.
Accuracy of final answer Conceptually and technically on target. Mainly correct, but some details or terminology is imprecise.ORSeems correct but imprecisely stated so that it is hard to be sure. The answer is partly correct but also displays some important persistent misunderstanding. The student seems lost.

I have questions about this too, which I will pose later.

My reflection on the objective (part 2) is here.

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