Adapting LEM Design Patterns

I decided to work with Renae’s “Improvement of Reading Classroom” pattern, as I often teach “Fundamentals of English,” which is our basic writing course, and I think the pattern she uses could be adapted nicely for the Fundamentals classroom.

Here’s the original pattern from Renae:

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Here’s how I modified the pattern for a face-to-face Fundamentals of English class that typically requires the bulk of the writing work to be done during class. I moved the initial concept introduction to online asynchronous, and then changed the evidence block in Renae’s original into a discussion block in which students share their drafts in a status report presentation to the class, followed by turning in the actual draft as the evidence block online through our LMS drop box. Once again, orange markings are meant to represent the classroom environment, as I did not have access to a yellow expo marker during my work. I did this as a pen and paper model to try out the method one more time.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Design Pattern Notebook Templates

This was an interesting and humbling exercise for me. In theory, I figured I would prefer the pen and paper approach to modeling as opposed to using digital tools. I did like having the ability to write and erase as needed, but I found that this approach made me a bit sloppier in my work. For example, on some of the templates, I inadvertently used the action arrow instead of the facilitator arrow, and I forgot to include an end dot on my first written-out pattern. I did not realize this until looking at the images for this post, and I don’t have the ability or time to go back and re-do the work on a white board. This might be because I’ve grown accustomed to doing my modeling work via Power Point, or it could be because it’s almost finals…I’m going to hope for the best here and offer a mea culpa instead. I also left out objective bubbles, which I didn’t even consider until just now writing this sentence. Argh. Finally, I could not for the life of me find a yellow expo marker to use, so I had to use orange in lieu of yellow. I tried, but nada.

I do like having pattern templates now, even though I know they will need some revision. I also elected to use a couple of LEMs I’ve already created as patterns in this post. I hope that is okay. They were initially created for  other reasons, but after thinking about the work, I realized they were appropriate to use as patterns of the kind of work I tend to do in class.

I tried to get a mix of face-to-face and online in here, too.

1. Week “Zero” introduction to the class module for online courses (first created and revised as part of my work on a creative nonfiction II online course).

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2. Flipped classroom writing assignment module for a face-to-face classroom (first created for this assignment).

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3. Day one introduction to class in a face-to-face class (I decided to create this pattern since I did an analogous one for an online course already, and I tend to use the same structure in all of my courses). This begins my work on a white board. Apologies in advance for the quality of the pictures. Yes, I’m missing the end dot, and the dashed lines are supposed to be dotted lines to show facilitator action.

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4. One class session learning activity in a face-to-face classroom (This is a simpler pattern I often employ over and over in a larger process toward a major writing project in my writing courses. Students seem to appreciate the consistency of the pattern.). Again, the dashes should be dots for facilitator action.

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5. Weekly module pattern for an online course (for me, that usually means Intro to Film) (This is a typical pattern, but I struggled with the end. The evidence could vary–it could be a writing assignment or quiz, depending, and I wrote that on the board. Is that okay since this is meant to be a pattern that could be used in different courses?).

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Using LEM Design Patterns

I decided to focus on a typical writing project module in a face-to-face writing classroom for my environment, since that’s what and where I usually teach. I was inspired by the “Blended Learning–Flipped Classroom Pattern” and the “Build On It Term Paper Pattern” from the LEM library (see images below for reference). In addition, I’ve identified two common patterns to teaching writing: 1. a more traditional lecture-based approach that requires more out-of-class writing from students (the third image) and 2. a completely flipped classroom approach in which students spend the majority of their time in class working on their projects while the instructor supervises and works with individual students as needed. This is the final image, and it is inspired by the first three pattern images in different ways. My goal was to move from a more traditional writing classroom into a pattern that more accurately represents what I hope my writing classes emulate.

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My Design Patterns

What are my daily patterns?

I am very much a creature of habit. There’s something about routine I find comforting, though it is nice to break out of that occasionally.

My daily patterns involve taking some time in the morning before everyone else is awake to prepare myself for the day: I meditate, check my email and social media sites on my phone, let our dog Sam out, and look at my personal planner (it’s the smaller planner in the picture above). If I have time before my son wakes up, I then get myself ready for the day and fit whatever work I can into any spare time. Once my son wakes up, we’re off to the races: while we tend to follow a pattern (bathroom/diaper, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, say bye to my husband, go to daycare/school), this pattern is often adjusted a bit depending on the whim of the two year old.

At work, I always start by taking out my personal planner and comparing it to my desk planner (the bigger planner above) and adding any items to one or the other to stay on track. Then, I dive into email. After that, it depends on the day: teaching, grading, writing center work, meetings…while the individual components change, the common theme is busy. I am always going, going, going.

On the weekends, I’m still going, going, going, but it’s with the mom hat on instead of the professor hat.

In the evening, we again follow a pattern with my son (hang out and play a bit after daycare, eat dinner, bath every other night, dress in pajamas, brush teeth, settle in). If I can, I like to check my planner one more time and think about what’s coming up. I also check my email and social media sites one more time before settling in to meditate again and sleep.

I guess the main gist of my daily pattern would be think/plan, do, reflect/plan ahead, rest.

What patterns do you observe around you?

Being on a college campus is interesting, because school setting definitely have patterns: classes are usually the same length of time MWF and TTH, which means there’s a natural ebb and flow of people rushing around at set times. Thinking in terms of semesters, I feel like every semester follow a similar pattern on a college campus: the mixture of enthusiasm, dread, and curiosity at the beginning of the semester, the increasing stress and feeling of busy-ness as the semester continues, the antsy feelings as we near any holidays or breaks, and the end-of-semester push/stress/hectic chaos that ends in some kind of burnout by the end of finals. Or is it just me?

I also notice a typical pattern to the days here in Weatherford, at least during the week: calm in the morning and early afternoon as people are in work or school, then a rush of folks out and about from 3pm or so until 8pm or so, then a gradual decline into calm once again. Small town life definitely has a consistency to it.

What patterns do you use when learning something new?

I like to gather as much information as possible at the beginning of learning something new, through reading, watching videos, listening to lectures, and discussing ideas with others. I do like to practice skills as I develop them, but I don’t like being the first one to do something. Instead, I like to watch a few other folks or see their examples. Then, I like to model my approach on what I’ve seen. I’ve gotten better over the years about receiving feedback on my work, and I really value that now, as it helps me adjust/revise/ reconsider what I’m learning.

What patterns do you observe in learning environments?

I tend to notice when there’s a lot of collaborative learning that offers discussion and feedback on ideas. My discipline (rhetoric and composition) is all about active learning and working through/with ideas together, so I’ve been trained to hone in on those approaches. I also notice in my own classes that I incorporate a lot of reflection and practice at developing metacognitive awareness in my students.

Posted in LEM

My Re-designed LEM

Here is my re-designed LEM based on the feedback I received from my peers. You can see original attempts at this model here and here. As a reminder, I am working on a short learning activity for an online creative nonfiction II course I am developing. I’ve taught the course in face-to-face format previously, so part of this is a transition into a different space.

This LEM represents a short activity I originally envisioned happening in the introductory week of the course. I now think it might need to be moved into week 2, as I’ve expanded the model a bit. Originally, I saw this as a short activity: students read example 6-word memoirs and then create their own memoirs to share with each other as a kind of introductory writing exercise. This isn’t meant as a major project, by any means, but it is a part of a larger discussion of flash nonfiction as a genre. I’ve expanded this model to allow for more discussion and practice before students create and post their own memoirs. I decided to follow up the evidence block with a final discussion that connects this exercise to the larger genre we’ll be discussing.

I look forward to your feedback. I hope the model is readable; I had some trouble laying the text on some of the images.

Posted in LEM, Uncategorized

Critiquing Learning Environment Models

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I’ve decided to get some feedback on this short model, which is supposed to be a learning activity for an asynchronous online creative nonfiction II course I am developing. I have taught this course previously in a face-to-face environment and am working on transitioning it into a new space. This model came out of a previous assignment in which I created my first LEM (see here). That model ended up becoming three different models, and this is the last model I created from that work. My worry here is that there’s not enough detail in the model to make sense, and I wonder if I need to add a practice block with feedback between the dialogue and evidence blocks to help guide students a bit more.  Have at it!

Posted in LEM

Identifying Opportunities for Using LEM

I’ve decided to divide this post into the different responsibilities I have both professionally and personally.

As a faculty member who teaches, I could use LEM in the following ways:

  • to develop new classes in both online and face-to-face formats;
  • to transition an existing class into a new environment (from face-to-face to online or vice versa);
  • to evaluate the approach I take in current classes;
  • to reconfigure modules or assignments that don’t seem as effective as they once were;
  • to develop new assignments or modules for students that incorporate as many of the blocks as necessary;
  • to think about how often and what kinds of feedback I currently provide to students;
  • to identify new places in existing courses where feedback opportunities could be integrated.

As a writing center coordinator, I could use LEM in these ways:

  • to evaluate the effectiveness of current tutor training;
  • to incorporate more online elements into the training as necessary;
  • to evaluate the ways in which the current physical space of the writing center helps and/or hinders tutor-writer interaction;
  • to train tutors to think of each session as its own learning environment opportunity;
  • to evaluate the effectiveness of our current asynchronous online tutoring model;
  • to consider ways to develop another synchronous online tutoring approach;
  • to offer a concrete model that shows administrators why we might need new facilities or more funding for specific ventures;
  • to make transparent to the SWOSU community (faculty and students) how writing center sessions work.

As a parent, I could use LEM for these purposes:

  • to evaluate the physical space in which my son lives and plays;
  • to consider the ways in which my interactions with my son affect his sense of being and learning in the world;
  • to better understand the ways in which his other care providers/teachers are attempting to help him learn;
  • to better understand what works best for my son to truly learn and understand information and concepts.

For the record, I don’t see myself actually creating a visual LEM related to parenting my son, but I think this kind of thinking will help me reconsider things I might have taken for granted or gone with more passively as a relatively new parent otherwise.

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  • @DMartonePHD Very true. I think the article still gets at some serious issues with academic publishing, too. Good share! 6 days ago
  • @DMartonePHD People who are desperate to publish to pad their CV may go that route, but it's not something that earns much respect usually. 6 days ago
  • @DMartonePHD Actual, respected peer-reviewed journals rarely (if ever) ask people to pay to be published. 6 days ago