- Amount of Time
- Lecture: 90 minutes
- Evaluation of e-learning reports: 3 hours
- Carnegie, Dale: How To Win Friends and Influence People. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010. -ISBN 978-1-451-62171-6. S. 1-320
In today’s lecture each student presented his or her textual e-learning unit that we should report on. One of the major things I learned here was about the negative aspects. Some tutorials had inconsistent navigations which irritated the learner. Structured tutorials with small chapters – ideally printed on single pages - help to deliver the content without having too much information on a single page. Textual learning units shouldn’t contain advertises and in general elements which disturb the reader’s attention on the learning material.
One of the most worse issues was content that is not up to date and therefore leaves the learner alone when he runs into the application of the learning contents (e.g. programming tutorials which were based on previous PHP versions). Often, useful additional information was not provided. So the students had to research for themselves in order to understand the learning unit.
I also figured out how great exercises in textual learning units are. Some of the presented units contained tests where you had to fill in your source code or correct existing code. I personally think this is really good for the cognition process: learning a programming languages is often quite strictly, because you focus on fixed language elements that will only compile if they are applied correctly. So those tests help to learn those important language elements.
The first time ever I was asked to grade some randomly selected reports of other students in our e-larning management system “Moodle”. Therefore we should also hand in a detailed feedback text.
This was new for me. The first question I asked myself was: “How do I formulate in such manner that I don’t question on the effort behind the report, but only on aspects which I don’t totally agree on?”. As I mentioned in one of the previous blog entries, there’s no total truth. So what truth does my rating reflect? It’s my personal view.
So that’s why I remembered myself on the good book “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. He mostly sketched how to communicate in such manner that one does speak in the interest of another person. I personally think this is not only a useful method if you want to convince people (an important leadership quality), but also to enable yourself to don’t harm other people. Especially, if you think of the time that they invested in some work. That’s why I personally don’t like the grading system – but I forced myself to give grades by comparing the five reports I got.
So I tried to be aware of Dale Carnegie’s rules:
- “Be sympathetic with other persons’ ideas and desires” (p. 189)
- “Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong.’”. (p. 203)
- “Begin in a friendly way.” (p. 203)
I think the communication aspect is really important in the didaktics area because it’s the key ability to deal with people. Teaching also means that the teacher wants to get his or her students to do something (-> behaviourism). Therefore, he must be symphatetic and constructive towards the learners. You should not only criticise the learner if he doesn’t do as attented but also question on his point of view. You should be emphatic in order to understand his or her interests and ideas on certain topics.
Today, I went to work for half of the day. There I was overloaded by a lot of work to do due to our mobile API release. So I learned that it’s better to have some freedom in your day schedule to think out of the box and not only reduce into producing quick results.
I also continued on the feedbacks from yesterday. I had to struggle with myself, because on report was not as good as the others (the worst grad I had given so far was a 2 of 3 points). I couldn’t decide on how many points I should grant so I decided to have a night to think of this.
What I learned from this is: comparisons are a good method to give grades. You should also focus on some valuation definition (e.g. what is the definition of a 3/3 compared to a 1/3). Fortunately, our professor Ms. Weber-Wulff gave us a good explanation on the points. So I could aks myself whether the definition was fulfilled before I gave the points.
This is really helpful because it structures your way of thinking when you have to valuate some work.