Goal 1- Philosophy

Goal 1: Educators articulate, maintain, and develop a philosophy of education that is demonstrated in their practice.

My philosophy of online teaching is based on several learning theories, personal and professional experiences, and my willingness to continue my education.

I have been an elementary teacher for 3 years, and have learned that my teaching styles derive from the behaviorist, cognitivist, and constructivist learning theories. The behaviorist learning theory “focuses on that which is observable, how people behave and especially how to change or elicit particular behaviors,” (Moore, et.al, page 31). If I want to enhance my students’ learning experiences in online education, I believe I have to effectively maintain my students’ interest, motivation and collaboration between myself and with their peers. I believe students learn in an organized, controllable, and a safe learning environment. Based on my experiences with online classes, things need to be routine. For instance, assignments or lessons should all be approached in a similar way.

Another learning theory that I base my philosophy of online teaching is the cognitivist learning theory. This theory focuses on the instructor and the instructional design, how knowledge is to be transmitted to the learner, either by the instructor or by the instructional software,” (Moore, et.al, page 58).

“Online learning strategies must present the materials and use strategies to enable students to process the materials efficiently,” (Ally, 2004). For instance, scaffolding the content. I believe that an effective online teacher scaffolds the learning material. “Information should be organized or chunked in pieces of appropriate size to facilitate processing,” (Ally, 2004).

I’ve taken many online classes to know that a good instructor breaks up the content into small digestible bits, keeps instruction, lectures or videos to a minimum, manages transitions, assesses students knowledge prior to and after the lesson, allows group collaboration, and has students practice and demonstrate their knowledge in different ways.

According to “Theory and Practice of Online Learning,” to promote higher-order thinking on the Web, “online learning must create challenging activities that enable learners to link new information to old, acquire meaningful knowledge, and use their metacognitive abilities; hence, it is the instructional strategy and not the technology that influences the quality of learning.”

The last learning theory I base my philosophy of online teaching, is the constructivist learning theory. “The constructivist learning theory suggests that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing the world, and reflecting on those experiences,” (Moore, et.al, page 60). I think one of the most important things we can do as online instructors, is outline our expectations thoroughly. “By articulating expectations and the role of the student in the course, we give the student the responsibility,” (Morrison, 2012). I believe an effective constructivist online educator gives their students’ options and flexibility to explore, be creative, and use their imagination on the Web. I want my students to be familiar with online environments by maintaining their online presence with peers and myself.

According to Ally, “learning strategies should be selected to motivate learners, facilitate deep processing, build the whole person, cater for individual differences, promote meaningful learning, encourage interaction, provide feedback, facilitate contextual learning, and provide support during the learning process.”

I believe an effective teacher (whether it’s online or face-to-face), recognizes when students are engaged or unengaged, when to transition between activities, organizes whole group or independent work time, has clear expectations for assignments, and collaboration between peers and the instructor, allow times for reflection and provides instant feedback.

I would use the three learning theories to teach content in different ways. For instance, “I would use the behaviorists’ strategies to teach the “what,” or facts, the cognitive strategies to teach the “how” or the processes and principles, and lastly the constructivist strategies to teach the “why,” or the higher level thinking that supports personal value,” (Ally, 2004).

Continuing my education is very important to me. With all of the technological advances, it is important that I stay up to date. I believe we need to stay current in research and continue learning new ways of how we can effectively teach our students, in and outside of the school environment.

I’ve taken online classes where I have had effective online instructors, who have demonstrated all of these exemplary attributes. My goal is to use the experiences I have gained in the classroom, what I have learned throughout the classes I have taken throughout my graduate career, and continuing my education, to effectively teach online education.


Ally, M. (2004). Theory and Practice of Online Learning. Retrieved December 06, 2016, from http://cde.athabascau.ca/online_book/ch1.html

Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2012). Distance education: A systems view of online learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Morrison, D. (2012, September 28). Five-step Strategy for Student Success with Online Learning. Retrieved December 06, 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/five-step-strategy-for-student-success-with-online-learning/

Week 11

EDET 679 Week Eleven: Creating the Game

Essential Question: What is the game you are thinking of writing up for your classroom?

Game Title/Theme: “Scooby Doo” like the cartoon.

Action and Setting: To unlock the mysteries and get a code to move onto the next scenario.

Characters or Mystery Incorporated: Mystery Incorporated- characters in Scooby Doo (students): Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Velma, and Daphne.

Each lesson in the chapter will be a location, or a place to visit while in that city. They will have to unlock the code, or solve the mystery to move onto the next scenario.

Quests: Games include: scavenger hunts, riddles, “Wheel of Fortune,” color to find the hidden picture, “Minute to Win It – addition/subtraction strategies” etc.

Lessons will have a game at the end, one that correlates to the lesson objective of the day or unit. Math homework will be presented as a code. Students have to “crack the code” to advance or move onto the next mystery. When the code is cracked, they get a letter to help solve the overall mystery, i.e. “wheel of fortune.”

Level Up: They will “drive” to different cities (units) to solve the mysteries. To get a code, they have to master the concept/objective or solve the mystery. When the whole code is “cracked” they have completed the mission, and move onto the next mission or level up.

Badges: Codes will be given to students who solved the mystery, mastered the lesson objective, Wheel of Fortune style.

Power-ups: Scooby-snacks could be used as power-ups (Class Dojo). When a student exhibits positive behavior, turns in homework, follows instructions, etc. they earn a Scooby snack. Scooby snacks add up and can be taken away when a student demonstrates negative behavior.

Scooby Doo Shop:

XP: extra credit: cost 10 Scooby snacks.

Quiz/test help or open note test: 10 Scooby snacks.

Homework pass: 20 Scooby Snacks.

Bathroom pass (during instructional time): 2 Scooby Snacks.

Late homework/make-up work: (after a unit ends): 5

Water break (during instructional time): 2

Scooby Doo points will be kept on the whiteboard, so they can add or subtract points as they use them.

Leader boards: The “game board” will be displayed, and students’ avatar will indicate how far they have progressed, and how many more they need to complete the mysteries they need to solve in the city.







Week 10

EDET 679 Week 10 Essential Question: How would you change the rubric for the final project to better reflect what is important in games?

I think one of the major things we were reflecting on these past few weeks were badges and quests. I think that somewhere in the rubric it should state how we are applying a “leveling up” system. For instance, when students move through different quests or “units,” they earn badges. Element 6 is “Skill scaffolding and mastery” and to meet the element, “different levels of the game build upon prior learned skills. Initial game play may be difficult but rewards are attainable.” I think that’s too broad, and should include more of those gaming elements. For instance, Haselwood’s view on how to set up gamified strategies:

“The badges are easy to keep up with in a classroom management system like Edmodo; students get a badge when they complete a “save checkpoint” (quiz) or win a “boss fight” (unit test).”

“The Market is a place where students could purchase unique items or “power-ups” to use in class, like Divine Intervention (students work together on a test), TARDIS (students can retake any test), or Potion of Wisdom (students can ask the teachers a question on a test).”

There are four aspects of gaming that are critical to include in a gamified classroom, and they are theme, setting, characters, and action (Matera, loc. 1015). Element 2 “Narrative Context/Storyline briefly explains part of them. To meet that element, “The context or storyline is apparent and continues throughout the game but there are limited opportunities to increase understanding of them.” I think we should include some of the aspects of gaming, or be more specific of what to include.

The last thing I think should be included in the rubric is the grading scale. How are we going to grade our students throughout this gamification experience? For instance if you use a percentage grading system:

  • Tests – 45%
  • Quizzes – 30%
  • Homework -15%
  • Participation -10%

How would this be converted to fit your theme?

Aviles suggests using the xp system. “You want your xp system to use big numbers because 1000xp is more fun to earn then 10xp. I use this system,” (Aviles, 2014)

  • Epic Quests (Tests) – 1000xp
  • Heroic Quests (Quizzes) – 500xp
  • Side Quests (Hw) – 400xp
  • Social Quests (Part/Disc) – 300p

These are the three things I think should be modified (or added), to make the rubric more narrow and focus on the critical elements.


Aviles, C. (2014, February 14). Gamify Your Class Level I: Xp Grading System – Teched Up Teacher. Retrieved November 09, 2016, from http://www.techedupteacher.com/gamify-your-class-level-i-xp-grading-system-2/

Haselwood, S. (2014, December 12). The Why’s and How’s of Gamifying Your Classroom (EdSurge News). Retrieved November 09, 2016, from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2014-12-12-the-why-s-and-how-s-of-gamifying-your-classroom

Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Retrieved November 9, 2016.



Week 10

EDET 674 Week 10 Essential Question: How can we manage the change that is inherent in our distance learning efforts?

“Knowing how to manage change and convert it into knowledge is a key determinant of personal and national economic effectiveness,” (Moore, et.al, page 290). Information is continuously changing and working people, especially educators, have to stay up to date with their skills. The easiest way to provide those instructions, resources, and interactions to help people stay current, is through distance education.

There are several ways we can manage this change. The first is, managing the cost of education and training. “In the future the majority of learning will occur through distance education (Moore, et.al, page 276). Managing the cost to create online platforms, content, etc., and having enough students enrolled in the program, should compensate for the creation of it.

“With the World Wide Web becoming more available, course designers are given more opportunities to offer a richer variety of media with high quality video and audio programming,” (page 278). With that said, professional development should be reviewed and evaluated every few years to ensure teachers are learning the skills to effectively teach in this digital age. There are five characteristics that are considered key to providing PD (Rasmussen, et.al, 2016).

  • A focus on teaching specific content,
  • The integration of specific teaching practices or pedagogy into the PD,
  • The engagement of participants in active learning,
  • Collective participation of teaching from the same grades/subjects,
  • Delivery with an extended duration

Evaluation is essential in determining how effective PD is. There are five levels of evaluation that should be considered. The first and lowest level is the measurement of participants’ reaction to the PD. The second is if they learned something. The third level looks at support from the organization that facilitates the PD. The fourth is whether or not participants continue using the skills obtaining from the PD and lastly, evaluating student learning outcomes as a result of teacher change (Rasmussen, et.al, 2016).

Change can be scary, especially when it comes to how we teach our students. I know teachers who refuse to use technology because of their lack of skills. Professionals should continually seek ways to improve their practice. According to Rafferty, there are three things that could help people stay current and move ahead out of their comfort zone, they are: adding skills, tools, and resources to their professional toolbox.


Moore, Michael G., and Greg Kearsley. Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

Rafferty, J. (2016, September 16). Insights from the Field: Moving Outside Our Comfort Zone – OLC. Retrieved November 08, 2016, from http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/insights-field-moving-outside-comfort-zone/

Rasmussen, C.L. & Byrd, D.R. (2016). Evaluating Continued Use of an Online Teacher Professional Development Program with a Sustained Implementation Scale. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(2), 145-167. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Week 9 Reflection

This week we looked at how different countries around the world are pursing online education. During the instructional team’s lesson, one of the things Dan mentioned was how some people are “anti-online education” and why they felt it was less effective. After reading Josie’s post and seeing her list of pro’s, I started thinking why some people are against online education. My conclusion was “on the job” training. For instance, when I did part of my student teaching in the village, I had limited one-to-one interaction with the instructors and my peers. However, when I did the other half of my student teaching on campus, I had a lot of interaction with both. Both instances certainly had it’s advantages and disadvantages. For instance like Josie mentioned online education’s pros: flexibility and cost.

Week 9 Reflection

This week I finally came up with a theme, “Monster’s Inc.” I was struggling before because I wanted something that was similar to Class Dojo (and I’m not talking about the monsters J), I’m referring to how students can be rewarded based on their knowledge of the content, in a game based situation. Just like in Class Dojo where students are rewarded on positive behavior, in Monster’s Inc. students would be rewarded based on Marzano’s learning scale. I got the idea from Larissa’s blog entry, her theme is Ice Age. I read in Mariah’s post that sometimes when we play games, we struggle with students’ just playing games, and worry if they are actually learning the content. Now because of gamification we can enjoy both in our classrooms.

Week 9

EDET 679 Week 9 Essential Question: How do you currently infuse play into your class? How might you change this as a result of some of the ideas you have encountered?

I teach kindergarten and first grade, there are five students in each grade. Play in my classroom consists of different things. With my kindergartners, I like to have them play matching card games with letter names or sounds. For instance, students have to match capital A with the lowercase a, or say the sound to match the letter name. This is a mini-game, for when they have completed their seatwork.

With my first grade students, we play addition and subtraction bingo. I tell my students to use the strategies they’ve learned like doubles plus one, counting on, make a ten, etc. to review the content.

Both grades play games on their iPads. We have Reflex Math that is a game based learning application, which helps students master addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. My kindergarteners play on Starfall.

I use Class Dojo in my classroom. I do have a leaderboard set up. Students like to compete with each other to get the most points. You can choose your rewards. For instance, if you want to incorporate gaming into your classroom, you can set it up so that when students get so many points, or class points, they can choose a game to play.

Before I set up my gamified classroom, I need to choose a theme, characters, setting, and action. Like Matera said, not all classrooms will have the same game elements because of our different teaching styles, demographics, etc. Once I have my basics figured out, I can start planning the game elements, like badges. There are two types of badges, leader badges, and mini-badges (Matera, loc., 2088). Leader badges are earned by going on side quests. When students put it that extra effort, they earn the unit’s leader badge. Mini-badges are when you want high student participation and input. They can also be used for reinforcing positive behaviors (like Class Dojo).

Rule Benders is a game that allows students to redo anything (Matera, loc. 2211). Great for when students get a poor grade. Solar Eclipse is a game that allows work to be turned in late. Assessment games include Staff of Wisdom, War Preparation, and Pottery Shards. Staff of Wisdom allows 50/50 on multiple-choice questions, War Preparation gives two minutes of open-notes, and Pottery Shards allows for a cheat sheet on a test (loc., 2266). Names can be modified to meet your game’s theme. These are the types of games I want to include into my gamified classroom.


Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Retrieved November 2, 2016.


Week 9

EDET 674 Week 9 Essential Question: What lessons can we take from Global Distance Learning Efforts?

“Distance education is found in some form in every country of the world,” ((Moore, et.al, page 271). In the past, a lot of third world countries have relied on print, radio and television as the main form of communication. Nowadays, it’s mobile technologies that are taking over. Some examples of online degree programs throughout the world include United Kingdom Open University (UKOU), the Open University of China (OUC), Korea National Open University (KNOU), PROFORMACAO, Open University of Catalonia (UOC), and the Distance Learning programs at the University of Alaska.

UKOU (United Kingdom) was the first Open University and is the premier model of distance education (Moore, et.al, page 244). Its original mission was to provide adults who were denied attendance in a conventional university, opportunities to higher education. There were no prerequisite qualifications for admission into an undergraduate program. They had to be 18 years or older, and pay a small tuition fee (about $7,500). These adults were employed and studied part time. They have over 600 courses offered online, and even work with businesses/corporations in meeting staff development needs. All course materials, resources, forums, etc. are found on their website “StudentHome.”

OUC (China) has the world’s largest distance education program. It has 44 open regional universities, 1,000 municipal and 2,000 county open universities, and 60,000 tutorial centers (Moore, et.al, page 246). They combine satellite, cable and broadcast tv, radio, Internet, computer programs, and printed materials. They offer 75 majors in 9 disciplines and 24 specialties. Their learning centers organize all classes, register students, collect tuition, distribute course materials, and appoint tutors (page 247).

KNOU (Korea) required students to participate in face-to-face tutorials, and video conferencing between peers and faculty (page 249). They have a Digital Library System, which holds audio and videotapes on almost 600 subjects. They are available for checkout or downloading from the Internet.

PROFORMACO, which is a program designed in Brazil, is a nationwide project that provides training to unqualified elementary teachers. Most of these teachers are found in rural, under developed parts of the country. All of the course materials were designed by highly qualified specialists, distributed by HQ video programs (page 250).

UOC (Catalonia) describes itself as an e-learning institute (page 262). They have over 50,000 students enrolled, 200 faculty members, and offers over 1,200 mastery’s degree programs, post-graduate and extension programs (page 263). Grades are sent to mobile devices, home study packages are delivered monthly, and they have a UOC channel on YouTube.

Lastly, the University of Alaska has three main campuses. The UA System is dedicated to provide undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates, endorsements, and courses, offered entirely online or in blended formats (https://distance.alaska.edu). All programs offered can be achieved without any on-campus, or face-to-face participation (https://distance.alaska.edu/programs/).

“University of Alaska Fairbanks’ eLearning programs range from foundational occupation endorsements and certificates all the way to online graduate degrees. Our degree and certificate programs cover a variety of fields, from medical coding and reception to information technology. With so many programs to choose from, and with the flexibility of online courses, UAF’s eLearning courses are a great way to begin or further your educational and professional career,” (https://elearning.uaf.edu/degrees/).

I was able to complete my undergraduate degree from UAF. What I really like is the UA System and how I can find everything there: registration, fees, class schedule, etc. Thanks to the online degree program, I’m able to continue my education and pursue my Masters.


Distance Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2016, from https://distance.alaska.edu/programs/

Distance Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2016, from https://distance.alaska.edu/

Moore, Michael G., and Greg Kearsley. Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

Online Degrees at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2016, from https://elearning.uaf.edu/degrees/


Reflection Week 8

This week we read about game elements and mechanics. I learned there are four main elements: theme, setting, characters, and action. I also learned about the many different game mechanic; like the levels, leaderboards, guilds, achievements, quests, power-ups, etc. I read from Theresa’s blog that being new to gaming, we should focus on one thing at a time, and then as we become more familiar, add another element. I thought that was a great idea, and I think that’s something I will do when I begin gamifying my classroom. I would like to do something in my classroom that resembles Class Dojo, except I haven’t found a behavior management platform I can use for K-1 yet.