Program Outcome Eight: Supporting Learning and Leadership

Supporting Learning and Leadership with Technology: Assessment Redesign

by Claudine Morgan

EDU 697, Dr. Anthony Valley. October 10, 2016

Introduction

There is a great deal of literature regarding learning and leadership with technology. There are an equal number of leadership examples and mistakes. This paper will evaluate an assignment and rework it to apply to Learning Outcome eight “demonstrate the ability to make informed decisions regarding the use of technology in support of learning and leadership”. Encouraging leadership skills in students can also be accomplished by creating supportive group activities that encourage collaboration. A discussion of the importance of leadership will be followed by the original assignment. Problems with the assignment will be pointed out and then a redesigned assignment will be presented. This will be followed by a summary of the changes made and the design and implementation challenges.

The Importance of Making Informed Decisions and Displaying Leadership

Responsible use and leadership utilizing online media comes in many forms. The demonstration of responsible leadership is an effective way to begin to encourage leadership in students. While a nationally known football player sits during the national anthem, a lecturer at the University of Virginia uses social media to condemn the Black Lives Matters movement. Colin Kaepernick made a conscious decision to quietly and unobtrusively to protest the abuse and killing of minorities. While he is not using the internet to spread his message, thousands of people have. His quiet protest has sparked controversy on both sides of the argument. Some people call him a hero and others condemn his actions saying that it is an affront to the armed forces of the US. His actions have sparked a lively debate online and called attention to a situation that had been largely ignored by many. He may not have taken to the internet to share his views, but thousands online are paying attention and weighing in. Regardless of personal views, his is a great way to use his status as a football player to bring an often ignored problem into the light of day (NFL, 2016).

On the other hand, business owner and lecturer at the University of Virginia, Douglas Muir has used his position of leadership to attempt to sway public opinion by sharing his own. He likened the Black Lives Matters movement to the Ku Klux Klan in a comment in a recent Facebook post. He stated “Black lives matter is the biggest racist organization since the clan.  Are you kidding me. Disgusting!!!” (NBC29, 2016). His opinion, right or wrong, is simply an opinion. As a person in a position of authority, he has rushed headlong into showing a lack of leadership and decorum. The University quickly addressed his post by suspending him from his job. The School of Engineering has also released a statement condemning his lack of professionalism. Both men in their own way, have had a hand in educating the public.

Technology is not only a social influencer but an educational one as well, it is changing the way students learn and communicate. Online and offline programs can assist students with the completion of projects while online research and social media applications provide students with a variety resources and perspectives. Tools such as PowerPoint, wikis and mind mapping allow students to convey their personal understanding of a topic. Thus providing an outlet other than Word for the execution of assigned tasks. Social media has become a tool for communication as well as a platform for information and misinformation. While it can present a hindrance to education, instructors can mitigate the damage by requiring that students provide a number of reliable sources from different sites (South University, 2012). Utilizing the requirement of providing online sources from a school library is a great way to assure accurate reporting by a student. Providing a variety of tools for learners to utilize, appeals to varied learning styles and helps to instill confidence in the learner.

It is important that instructors are aware of the assigned objectives as well. If the objective is for the student to learn how to use a PowerPoint program then it should be included in the grading rubric and be reflected in their grade. If, however the student’s goal is to build a PowerPoint about a specific topic then the instructor should grade it accordingly. It is important for the instructor to be clear about the student’s objectives. For example, “Create a well-designed, colorful PowerPoint about the major events of 2012” is very different from “Create a PowerPoint about the major events of 2012”. The first objective indicates an intention to grade the student’s use of the program whereas the latter does not. If an instructor expects to be viewed as a reasonable class leader, they need to lead their class with clarity. This begins with clear objectives and encouraging leadership in students.

Assignment Summary and Information

This assignment is from a CourseSites classroom and is designed to use the same due dates as assignments from Ashford University. The CourseSites classroom can be assessed through this link. As of this writing none of the following modifications have been posted to the CourseSites website. This is a continuation of Introduction to Lab Animal Husbandry. This module focuses on information that is important for student workers to know to maintain their safety and the safety of others. The accompanying PowerPoint provides an overview of BSL components, personal protective equipment (PPE) and the importance of biosafety.

Previous Activity

Module Two:

This week’s lesson will deliver an overview of biosafety levels. It does not replace any future BSL training that you may have but it will provide you with helpful background information to enhance that future training. In addition to biosafety, we will be covering the following topics, PPE, the importance of medical research and BSL signage. Follow the links below to get started.

As always the PowerPoint has notes and is best viewed in presenter mode.

These are the objectives for the week:

  1. What research is being done at this BSL 4 laboratory?
  2. Why is this research important?
  3. Did the article give specific or general details about the laboratory and what they’re studying?
  4. Do you think it is wise to publish an article giving specific information about the location of a BSL 4 lab and what it is studying? Why?

You will also be responding to at least two of your classmate’s posts. Read all of the posts before responding. Try to choose posts that discuss a different laboratory than the one that you found. When you respond you should evaluate what effect their laboratory has on disease study. Determine if you and your classmate agree on your answer to question 4. In your response, you should also state what laboratory you chose and discuss your opinion on the importance of medical research.

This Weeks Assignment:

The assignment this week covers the critical aspects for BSL signage. The PDF that you reviewed gave you the parameters for appropriate BSL signage. This week you will be divided into two person teams and tasked with making your own BSL sign. You must collaborate with each other to create the sign.

  1. There is a discussion thread named “Teams”. Click on that link and post a short hello to your partner. Your partner is listed in the directions for the discussion. Your post should contain your preferred email address and when you are available for collaboration. If your partner is unavailable for in-person collaboration, you can still communicate through email.
  2. Go to realtimeboard.com. This is an online whiteboard. Watch the instructional video and take advantage of the tutorials. On it you can build your sign and leave each other notes. Click on the example below for a suggestion for setting it up. You can copy the requirements and the example sign from this page.  https://realtimeboard.com/app/board/o9J_k0l535w=/
  3. One of the team members should set up the page and share the link on their discussion thread for their partner to use as well. *Note you can use a different free online whiteboard if you chose.
  4. From here it is all up to you. You can put rainbows or footballs on your sign. You can make it professional or outrageous. Your team must agree on the content and to stay in compliance with UVA policies it must be “PG”.
  5. Your sign must be readable.
  6. It must contain the following requirements:
  • Biohazard marking (red background with biohazard symbol)
  • BSL level
  • List what infectious materials are being used. Be sure that it matches the BSL level you have chosen.
  • Animal type involved. (Mouse, chicken, etc.)
  • PPE requirements. Must match BSL level.
  • The name of the supervisor. You can combine your names or make one up.
  • Phone numbers of supervisor and director. You can make those up as well.
  • Any hazardous materials. Radioactive, etc.
  • Any entry or exit procedures. Wash hands, take a shower etc.If you have any questions or concerns send me an email or shoot me a text, I am here to help.
  • All students will submit a short summary of their experience and their whiteboard web address in a word document when the assignment is due.  Be sure to provide credit for any pictures or quotes that you use. Your summary should be at least 200 words.

Module 2 Assignment Rubric

Grading Rubric for Module Two Assignment. Topic: Building a BSL Sign as a team.

Group Work:

Worth 6 of 12 points

Excellent Good Poor
Communication.

 

(1 Point)

Student made an effort to contact their partner on the discussion board.           (1 Point) Student did not post on the discussion forum.

(0 Points)

Whiteboard page and sign.

 

(2 Points)

Students created a whiteboard page.

Page contains a sign that they designed for the assignment.         (2 points)

Students created a whiteboard page.

Page contains a partly completed sign.

(1.0 point)

Page or sign are missing.

 

(0 Points)

Sign

 

 

(3 Points)

Sign is clear and readable.

All information is represented.

(3 Points)

Sign is crowded or difficult to read.

Most of the information is represented.               (2 Points)

Sign is impossible to read.

More than 50% of the information is missing.                       (1 point)

Individual Work

(6 points)

Paper

 

(3 Points)

Student’s reflection is clear and easy to read. It is at least 200 words.

(3 Points)

Student’s reflection is unclear or difficult to read. Or it is less than 200 words.

(2 Points)

Student’s reflection is missing or incomplete.

(1-0 points)

Grammar and spelling.

 

 

 

(3 points)

Student’s paper is free from grammar and spelling errors.

Students provide references for all pictures and articles used.

(3 Points)

Student’s paper is mostly free from grammar and spelling errors.

Students provide references for some pictures and articles used.                             (2 Points)

Student’s paper has a lot of spelling and grammar errors.

No references were provided.

 

(1-0 points)

 

 

This Weeks Quiz:

Question One

Matching: Match the action with the correct BSL level

  1. BSL 4: Shower before you leave
  2. BSL 2: Eye protection may be necessary
  3. BSL 3: Training is required, vaccinations may be necessary
  4. BSL 1: Open air work

Question Two

Multiple Choice: Which lab requires the use of PPE?

  1. BSL 4
  2. BSL 2
  3. BSL 1
  4. They all require PPE (Correct)

Question Three

True or False: A mouse that is four weeks old can get pregnant.

True

False (correct)

Correct feedback: Great Job!

Incorrect feedback: Remember, mice become sexually mature between six and eight weeks.

Question Four

Matching: Match the following BSL levels to the facility requirements.

  1. BSL 1: Must have sink available
  2. BSL 2: Self-closing doors and eyewash available
  3. BSL 3: Hands-free sink
  4. BSL 4: Dedicated air supply and exhaust.

Question Five

Multiple Choice: A BSL sign must contain all of the following, choose the correct answer.

  1. PPE requirements, infectious agents and the supervisor’s cell phone number.
  2. Supervisor’s office phone number, BSL level and a radioactive materials sign.
  3. PPE requirements, BSL level and supervisor’s name and contact number. (Correct)
  4. BSL level, animals involved and the school the supervisor attended.

Problems with the Original Activity

This week’s assignments require a lot of work and collaboration from the students. As animal care providers we are often required to work together to accomplish our goals. I do not think that the group work assignment is asking too much. Although I do think that the instructions could use some clarification.

I have provided a lot of reading assignments for students. Even though reading assignments can be time consuming and, at times, skipped over altogether, I believe that they are necessary for a full understanding of biosafety levels. So while I may reduce them by one or two, I will not remove very many of them. I also added the length of the duration of the video. This is because many students have limited internet and limited time. It is helpful to know how long a video will take to watch. So that they can make an informed decision about watching it at work or at home.

The discussion assignment is a good one to increase student understanding of BSL 4 facilities. Even though these students are not likely to encounter a BSL 4 facility in their lifetime, an understanding of what is required in such a facility will help students appreciate the requirements of BLS 3 and below. The original discussion needs a few links to help students find information more easily about BSL 4 facilities. After all, I am seeking to increase their knowledge not test their research skills.

The assignment may seem like a large one but with two people working on it, it should be relatively easy to accomplish as it is written. The accompanying grading rubric is not often seen in a work training environment. However, due to the complexity of the group assignment I feel that it needs to be included. It also needs some clarification as the original rubric is lacking in true clarity. The quiz covered the necessary information without being redundant or overwhelming. I do not feel as if it needs any change it at all.

The Modified Activity

Revised Module Two

This week’s lesson will deliver an overview of biosafety levels. It does not replace any future BSL training that students may have but it will provide helpful background information to enhance that future training. In addition to biosafety, student workers will be covering the following topics: PPE, the importance of medical research and BSL signage. By the end of this unit, students will be able to meet the objectives listed below.

  • Students will apply their knowledge of biosafety signage to create a new sign in this week’s assignment.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the value of research by completing this week’s discussion assignment.
  • Students will apply their knowledge to complete this week’s quizThe reading resources that are listed below will help students to complete the assignments and expand understanding. None of these reading assignments will take a long time to complete. Take the time to look them over. Barney, J. (2016) ‘Bag guy’ cells unexpectedly prove vital for stopping deadly bug. UVA Today. Retrieved from https://news.virginia.edu/content/bad-guy-cells-unexpectedly-prove-vital-stopping-deadly-bugCDC, (n.d.) Vertebrate animal biosafety level criteria for vivarium research facilities. (PDF).Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/bmbl5/BMBL5_sect_V.pdfU.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.) Recognizing the biosafety levels: a quick learn lesson. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/training/quicklearns/biosafety/Signage: Multimedia:SVI (2015) Why is medical research important. St. Vincent’s Institute: Medical Research. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2JgtzwLnb0In this week’s discussion students will explore BSL 4 facilities. You can Google “BSL 4 laboratories in the world” to find an article or read one of the articles listed below. While you’re reading this article you will be preparing to answer the four questions listed below.Virology blog (2014) Visiting biosafety level-4 laboratories. Retrieved from http://www.virology.ws/2014/07/14/visiting-biosafety-level-4-laboratories/Pappalardo, J. (2014) Virus hunters: inside Maryland’s new biosafety level 4 lab. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved from http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a6369/4315093/
  • Answer these questions and post your answers within this week’s discussion forum.
  • This article examines one BSL 4 facility:
  • This article provides information about several BSL 4 facilities:
  • Module Two Discussion: BSL 4
  • This video is 3minutes long. Be sure to check it out.
  • UVA. (2016) Signage and labels. Biosafety University of Virginia. Retrieved from http://ehs.virginia.edu/biosafety/bio.signage.html
  • UVA. (2016) Biosafety at University of Virginia. Retrieved from http://ehs.virginia.edu/biosafety/
  • Sidelsky, M. (2007)Laboratory biosafety in rodent biocontainment. ALN Mag. Retrieved from https://www.alnmag.com/article/2007/02/laboratory-biosafety-rodent-biocontainment
  • Biosafety: The Value of Research:
  • There is also a PowerPoint to view “Biosafety Levels and You” has important notes attached to it and is best viewed in presenter mode. This PowerPoint will be reviewed in our class meeting but you should also review it independently as many of the quiz answers can be found within it.
  1. What research is being done at this BSL 4 laboratory?
  2. Why is this research important?
  3. Did the article give specific or general details about the laboratory and what they’re studying?
  4. Do you think it is wise to publish an article giving specific information about the location of a BSL 4 lab and what it is studying? Why?

You will also be responding to at least two of your classmate’s posts. Read all of the posts before responding. Try to choose posts that discuss a different laboratory than the one that you found. When you respond you should evaluate what effect their laboratory has on disease study. Determine if you and your classmate agree on your answer to question 4. In your response, you should also state what laboratory you chose and discuss your opinion on the importance of medical research.

This Weeks Assignment:

The group assignment this week covers the critical aspects for BSL signage. The PDF that you reviewed gave you the parameters for appropriate BSL signage. This week you will be divided into two person teams and tasked with making your own BSL sign. You must work with each other to create the sign.

  1. There is a discussion thread named “Teams”. Click on that link and post a short hello to your partner. (Your partner is listed in the directions for the group discussion.) Your post should contain your preferred email address and when you are available for collaboration. If your partner is unavailable for in-person collaboration, you can still communicate through email.
  2. Next, go to realtimeboard. This is an online whiteboard. One of the team members should set up the page and share the link on their discussion thread for their partner to use as well. *Note you can use a different free online whiteboard if you chose.
  3. On the whiteboard you can build your sign and leave each other notes. Watch the instructional video and take advantage of the tutorials.
  4. Click on the example below for a suggestion for setting it up. You can copy the requirements and the example sign from this page.
  5. From here it is all up to you. You can put rainbows or footballs on your sign. You can make it professional or outrageous. Your team must agree on the content and to stay in compliance with UVA policies it must be “PG”.
  6. Your sign must be readable.
  7. It must contain the following nine components.
  • Biohazard marking (red background with biohazard symbol)
  • BSL level
  • List what infectious materials are being used. Be sure that it matches the BSL level you have chosen.
  • Animal type involved. (Mouse, chicken, etc.)
  • PPE requirements. Must match BSL level.
  • The name of the supervisor. You can combine your names or make one up.
  • Phone numbers of supervisor and director. You can make those up as well.
  • Any hazardous materials. Radioactive, flammable etc.
  • Any entry or exit procedures. Wash hands, take a shower etc. Here is the copy and paste link to the example: https://realtimeboard.com/app/board/o9J_k0l535w=/Module 2 Assignment Rubric
  • Grading Rubric for Module Two Assignment. Topic: Building a BSL Sign as a team.
  • If you have any questions or concerns send me an email, I am here to help.
  • All students will submit a short summary of their experience and their whiteboard web address in a word document when the assignment is due.  Be sure to provide credit for any pictures or quotes that you use in your paper. Your summary should be at least 200 words. Be sure to review the grading rubric so that you are fully aware of the assignment requirements.
Group Work:

Worth 6 of 12 points

Excellent Good Poor
Communication.

 

(1 Point)

Student made an effort to contact their partner on the discussion board.           (1 Point) Student did not post on the discussion forum.

(0 Points)

Whiteboard page and sign.

 

(2 Points)

Students created a whiteboard page.

Page contains a sign that they designed for the assignment.         (2 points)

Students created a whiteboard page.

Page contains a partly completed sign.

(1.0 point)

Page or sign are missing.

 

(0 Points)

Sign

 

 

(3 Points)

Sign is clear and readable.

All required information is represented.

(3 Points)

Sign is crowded or difficult to read.

Most of the information is represented.                (2 Points)

Sign is impossible to read.

More than 50% of the information is missing.                       (1–0 points)

Individual Work

6 of 12 points

Paper

 

(3 Points)

Student’s reflection includes both a summary of their experience as well as a link or web address to the sign their team created.

It is at least 200 words.

(3 Points)

Student’s reflection is missing the web address or link or is less than 200 words.

(2 Points)

Student’s reflection is missing or mostly incomplete.

(1-0 points)

Grammar and spelling.

 

 

 

(3 points)

Student’s paper is free from grammar and spelling errors.

Students provide references for all pictures and articles used.

(3 Points)

Student’s paper is mostly free from grammar and spelling errors.

Students provide references for some pictures and articles used.                             (2 Points)

Student’s paper has spelling and grammar errors.

No references were provided.

 

(1-0 points)

 

 

This Weeks Quiz:

Question One

Matching: Match the action with the correct BSL level

  1. BSL 4: Shower before you leave
  2. BSL 2: Eye protection may be necessary
  3. BSL 3: Training is required, vaccinations may be necessary
  4. BSL 1: Open air work

Question Two

Multiple Choice: Which lab requires the use of PPE?

BSL 4

BSL 2

BSL 1

They all require PPE (Correct)

Question Three

True or False: A mouse that is four weeks old can get pregnant.

True

False (correct)

Correct feedback: Great Job!

Incorrect feedback: Remember, mice become sexually mature between six and eight weeks.

Question Four

Matching: Match the following BSL levels to the facility requirements.

  1. BSL 1: Must have sink available
  2. BSL 2: Self-closing doors and eyewash available
  3. BSL 3: Hands-free sink
  4. BSL 4: Dedicated air supply and exhaust.

Question Five

Multiple Choice: A BSL sign must contain all of the following, choose the correct answer.

  1. PPE requirements, infectious agents and the supervisor’s cell phone number.
  2. Supervisor’s office phone number, BSL level and a radioactive materials sign.
  3. PPE requirements, BSL level and supervisor’s name and contact number. (Correct)
  4. BSL level, animals involved and the school the supervisor attended.

 

Changes Made to the Original Activity

I changed the introduction to provide a better flow of information. The original introduction seemed disjointed and it lacked a great deal of information. I also moved an article from the reading list to the discussion assignment as it is designed for use with the discussion. I highlighted its importance and increased the likelihood that it be read by placing it with an assignment. I then changed the discussion assignment to remove extra reading and the video. These are components that are already a part of the weekly reading, they seemed redundant when placed with the discussion. I also wanted to highlight the more relevant information about BSL 4 facilities without overwhelming the students.

I left the assignment mostly the same with the exception of clarifying the instructions. The instructions didn’t require many changes as I didn’t make any changes to the assignment. I feel as if the assignment encourages creativity and a deeper understanding of the requirements of BSL signage. It is important for students to learn the major components of the BSL sign so that they can recognize hazardous situations before entering a room. The accompanying rubric required some clarification so that students would have a better understanding of what they are being graded on. Clear rubrics also help the instructor to grade both fairly and consistently. I chose to leave the quiz as it is because it covers the important information without being too long or overwhelming.

Design and implementation Challenges

In the beginning I had a hard time deciding on an assignment that seemed to exemplify Learning Outcome eight. As I was looking through old assignments, I realized that all of my previous assignments should show informed decision making with regards to technology in support of education. I settled on this one because of the variety of technology it uses and because the use of an online whiteboard. The whiteboard is the perfect medium for this assignment because it allows students to get creative and still learn. After settling on the assignment, I began combing through it looking for major flaws. I was surprised to find that I was happy with the majority of the assessments in module two. I almost went looking for a different assignment to redesign.

After I began rewording the individual components I realized that it was a good choice. I enjoyed revisiting the information and clarifying the assignments. My biggest challenge was working on the rubric. I wanted to delete the original and create an entirely new one. I felt like the original wasn’t clear enough or well organized. Instead I reevaluated the original and realized that it was set up in a straight forward and easy to use fashion. After debating with myself for a while I decided to reword a few passages and leave the rest of it alone. I had envisioned a more complex rubric but realized that a simple one will be easier for students who are doing on the job training.

Closing

Upon reviewing the previous assignment, I realized that it does encourage leadership skills. It also presents a fair and reasonable challenge for student workers. I worked to create clarity throughout the assignment by rewriting and reorganizing components of the assignment. I did not do any major modifications to the assignment as it meets the parameters of Learning Outcome eight. I outlined the changes above and I am satisfied with the changes made.

References

Morgan, C. (2016) Module one. Introduction to Lab Animal Husbandry. CourseSites. Retrieved from https://www.coursesites.com/s/_Mouse101

NBC 29 (2016) Controversy Surrounds UVA Lecturer’s Facebook Post Likening BLM to KKK. NBC 29. Retrieved from http://www.nbc29.com/story/33343901/controversy-surrounds-uva-lecturers-facebook-comment-likening-blm-to-kkk

Realtime Board (2016) [website] Retrieved from https://realtimeboard.com

South University (2012) Technology’s influence on education. South University. Retrieved from https://www.southuniversity.edu/whoweare/newsroom/blog/technologys-influence-on-education-76874

Wyche, S. (2016) Colin Kaepernick explains why he sat during the national anthem. NFL.com. Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000691077/article/colin-kaepernick-explains-why-he-sat-during-national-anthem

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