Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 3 - Renee Romero

Collecting, Organizing and Citing Sources: Zotero

Discuss which theory/ies might be most applicable to your instruction and outline a specific activity/assignment/exercise that would facilitate learning according to that theory


The instructional tutorials have components of both cognitivism and constructivism. The first video that addresses ideas behind why we collect and cite sources is more constructivist, as it will ask students to examine real - world situations (that they may have experienced) in which organizing and citing is necessary. There can be an element of role-play where students act out a situation that emphasizes the various ways in which research is a conversation. Depending on the context of how the video is used, students can take a more social approach and discuss the questions and ideas posed in the video with their peers.

The second video that takes a more practical look at Zotero is more cognitive, as it uses modeling to show students how to use the software. The second video also organizes the information into chunks designed to help students remember which functions to use to get a desired result. There are some constructivist components built into the questioning in the Moodle module (there can even be an element of role-play in the tutorial, as students imagine what they would do with a given task or assignment); however, I would like to try to incorporate more into the YouTube module.

Activity: Constructivism
While a better constructivist activity would have students attempt to take notes before the pause, I have yet to work out the best way to do this in a video tutorial

  1. Video pauses after students learn how to take advanced notes using Zotero.
  2. Students are directed to think of their research  
  3. Fill in the notes with content that examines how the source will be useful to your research argument, rather than summarizing the content of the source

Next, consider what you learned from Small's article on motivation and address how you are going to motivate your learners/students.

Small’s article on motivation was very interesting. I enjoyed the various factors that motivate different individuals and that the article recognized motivation is multi-faceted. With Zotero, I feel that the “flow theory” of motivation is applicable. On page 4 of Small’s article, Small explains that “the flow theory creates a “flow state” that [helps students:]

  1. Suspend time and space while fully immersed in a challenging activity
  2. Focus attention on a limited stimulus field which provides clear and unambiguous feedback on his/her actions
  3. Experience a sense of control
  4. Find the experience itself rewarding (Csikszentmihalyi 1975; 1990).”

As learning how to use software through a screen capture recording can too easily fall into categories such as ‘boring’ or ‘uninteresting, ’ keeping in mind the 4 components of Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory will be quite helpful to make sure students are motivated to learn.
Yet another motivation is identifying the beneficial functions for students early on; such as the fact that Zotero auto-generates bibliographies! I would be motivated by that if I were a student, and have seen that function generate excitement first-hand.


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