Above is a screenshot from a previous Summative Assessment from my work at Georgia Virtual School. I have also attached a PDF for review.
My areas of Mastery included Grading, Policy, Homepages, and Discussions. I did have an Exceptional score for the Communication category. Obviously I was very pleased with this score and it is reflective of my work at Georgia Virtual School. Because we are not in a physical, face to face environment, I do believe communication is vital to success for the student, teacher, and stakeholder. Sometimes wording within a question can be misunderstood and therefore even clearer communication is needed between teacher and student. Grades require consistency in approach but also communication as well. That consistency in communication is an item that is vital to keeping students and stakeholders involved and aware. However, I do have some areas of growth in communication. One item I have obtained from the Open Teacher Training Course is to utilize data in conjunction with great communication. For instance, using the Course Access Data I previously mentioned with an individualized email to those students would be a great way to increase my individualized approach to student learning.
The categories of Grading and Policies coincide in my opinion as the Grading category is dependent on the Policy category. To me these categories reflect a professional and ethical standard that all virtual school teachers should possess. One area of growth for me in this category, and another area I have gained insight into as a result of the Open Teacher Training Course, is differentiated feedback. At one point in time I used voice recorded feedback and this is something I feel I could utilize more in the coming semester. To me the voice recorded feedback is actually more individualized to the learner and easier for the instructor to provide.
My Homepages category could be improved through differentiated news announcements and more frequency in that area. I feel that even more reminders about course policy and course expectations could not hurt in this area. I do need to find one or two more bulletin board uses. Currently I generally use a Welcome bulletin board, a Milestone signup reminder and an end of course reminder bulletin board. By adding one or two more bulletin board templates throughout the course it could perhaps increase engagement in this area of my homepages.
Finally, is the Discussion category. Discussions and I have had our moments. I feel they are a vital component of a virtual structure but are least respected by the student, put aside to the last minute, and therefore become a thorn in the side of virtual instructors. This has been my experience. What ways do I improve student engagement in discussions? I have not quite figured that out. One area I can improve on in discussions is including more interactive feedback with my replies. This could include charts/graphs, images, videos or links to further the content knowledge. Perhaps if I included that more, students would be engaged sooner and more frequently in discussions.