Dear Students - I hope to clarify the relationship between the two upcoming assignments and professional learning communities (PLCs).
Gantt Chart of Course Timeline
You should now be working toward the next assignment: Solution Concept Written Proposal. You have already started the process for this assignment. Let me try to piece together for you the process that you are following through the course.
- In the knowledge forum, you had a chance to post your burning questions that arose out of your concept maps, and clarify connections between your questions and others' questions.
- You identified one or more PLCs that you thought might be useful or offer you the support that you are looking for with your teaching. I gave you feedback on the your choices. Some were very solid choices. In other cases, I cautioned you to find a PLC that you had a reasonable chance of actually connecting with. I see that many of you have in fact connected.
- In Module two, you posted a design brief that was based on your burning questions from your concept map. This was due last week.
- I am not going to comment on each of these individual proposals. The point was for you to post your ideas in order to find a group of like-minded classmates with whom you can work on the above noted assignment.
- Hopefully, you will be able to use some of the technologies highlighted in your montage to help you work with members of that community.
Now, you should be communicating with other students, reviewing each other’s design briefs.
For Module 4:
- You will join a collaborative group (2-4 participants) to start the process of analyzing your burning questions.
- Ideally, you will select the brief or question(s) that have the most clarity in terms of process and the most opportunity for engagement with the PLC.
- You questions can be broadly about how to work with a professional PLC. This could be a PLC that is created at your school or within your school board. It could be with a formal PLC that many of you have chosen. Or you could focus on a collaborative inquiry question on how to engage students in a specific K-12 setting.
- Then you will work through your project to find / propose a solution to the burning questions.
- The instruction from the course is:
- “The focus of your collaboration will be to design a proposed solution to a substantive problem or dilemma in a Professional Community of your group’s choosing.” You can use any collaborative technologies (e.g. Google Docs) that you see fit, and that you have investigated in the montage. Remember that you need to include a process account of your engagement with each other so you should use a technology that leaves a ‘paper trail’.
If you have not formed a group yet, please post again on the discussion board or contact me, or both.
In your groups, you will:
- Engage in critical review of a problem and the context in which the problem exists in a community
- Propose solutions to a problem that are sensitive to the concerns of the stakeholders
- Prototype versions of the solution for review by other students in the course
- Write a Design/Problem Brief that includes
- Introduction: description of the problem/issue that is being addressed (300 words)
- Literature review - scholarly connections between your burning questions and the literature (500 words)
- The proposed solution - a discussion and ‘tangible version’ of the solution (prototype, process description, tools, etc.) (500-800 words)
- "Process account" - a summary of the process of engagement between members of your group (Annotated copy of your interactions)
- Reference List and citations within the body of the Design/Problem Brief.
After this has been submitted, and concurrently, each of you will be expected to digitally communicate with a chosen PLC about the value of collaborative inquiry as it relates to an authentic problem of practice. This is why I have advised many of you to think about PLCs from whom you can realistically expect to receive a reply.
**Please note that there is no reason why your entire group cannot work with the PLC individually after the group work assignment is completed to do the Module 5 individual work**
For Module 5, you will
- Identify a Professional Community with whom to connect
- Starting with one of your burning questions, and quite possibly the burning question you worked on with your group, take the introduction and literature review from your group work and define a set of core ideas, related to Collaborative Inquiry and based on course content, to be shared as appropriate, with your chosen PLC.
- As with module 4, these could be more generally about interacting with informal or formal PLCs, or it could be more about creating inquiry groups within your teaching setting.
- Connect virtually and/or physically with the PLC and document your interactions
- Provide evidence of a connection to the identified Professional Community
- Where virtual and/or physical connection is not possible, you will need to create a “digital foothold” where you can communicate the set of core ideas that were identified related to Collaborative Inquiry and the particular Professional Community
- This is the point where you will find the work better and more rewarding if you can actually connect with your PLC.
- Create a link between your digital foothold and the course.
- You will submit a report on your success in interacting with the PLC and their responses to your questions.
Post to the D2L Discussion topic, "Our Professional Communities - Making Connections" (started in Module Two).